- Posted by alpina_admin
- On 16th January 2018
- 0 Comments
Of course, it is perfectly possible for start-ups and enterprise tech ventures to reach international markets from the outset. Product adoption is virtually instantaneous and can occur almost from the moment of launch – SaaS makes it possible; and we all see the metaphor of the Global Village in action every single day.
So, yes, it can happen. Start-ups can experience some traction globally at the beginning – and it can happen organically too. However, reality bites in the long run. The vast majority of start-ups and tech ventures will need to attempt global expansion in a highly strategic way. Scaling from a local territory to any number of international markets needs to happen systematically. This presents a variety of challenges.
Getting the timing of international expansion right
The first big challenge of international expansion for enterprise technology ventures is to get the timing right. It’s a question of scale, and it is vital that start-ups understand what scale means for their business. One simple signifier of readiness for international expansion would be when 25% of business is coming from international markets. 25% is a sign that it is time to scale outside your home country and that you are ready to expand internationally.
There are other tricky hurdles potential stumbling blocks to overcome at this stage too. Cross-functional alignment and cooperation are now required. It is also sometimes hard to balance the immediacy and success that is experienced in native markets, and the need for patience and intensive initiatives that are often necessary as you attempt to expand into new territories.
Important things to consider before you expand internationally
Essentially, tech ventures need to assess market attractiveness and product readiness before expanding internationally. A baseline assessment should be undertaken so that the new market is fully understood and you can clearly see how your product fits into the market. Strengths and weaknesses should be identified, as well as regional competitors. Any product gaps need to be highlighted and addressed. The company also needs to revisit its vision and consider what it means to be an international or global organization.
Identifying the most attractive markets to expand into
A useful way of achieving a baseline understanding of markets is to look at GDP per capita and the internet population figures for the territory. It makes sense to target markets where there are both a large number of potential customers to target and high levels of disposable income. A stable political environment and simple and easy regulatory and tax requirements are other things to look for.
Other challenges of international expansion
The specific challenges that might be faced by an enterprise tech venture will depend on the nature of go-to-market plans in each region. How to structure regional operations: sales, support, and marketing are the key questions that start-ups need to ask themselves.
If your enterprise technology venture is ready to expand into additional markets, get in touch today to discuss how AlpinaSearch can help you. We are Europe’s premier European recruiter for enterprise software start-ups and scale-ups.