Growing a business: expand to other territories or penetrate better the local market?

If you’re running a small business, you’re probably wondering what’s the next step. Should you penetrate your local market, or take your business abroad by reaching out to foreign clients?

I can’t give you a clear answer to that question. But I can show you what are the key pros and cons of these market penetration variants.

Here’s everything you need to know to make the right decision for your business.

Penetrating the local market

How it’s done

The best way to penetrate your local market is through smart marketing tactics.

Develop a marketing strategy that combines inbound and outbound. Once you find a niche for your product, research your target to learn more about their needs and pain points.

That will enable you to show your target how your product solves their problem.

And that’s the kind of message you want to communicate in your direct outreach as well. It can be cold calling or emailing, the important thing is that your local target is exposed to your brand and aware that a product like yours exists.

Pros

Since you’re dealing with a local market, you can bet that your product is relevant.

If you’re selling umbrellas in a place where it always rains, expect a stream of leads knocking at your door. Especially once you manage to convince them that your umbrella is basically the best umbrella in the world.

Penetrating your local market means that the risk of failing to engage new prospects is relatively low.

Cons

But by focusing only on the local market, you’ll be missing out on fantastic opportunities for growth that come with expanding to foreign markets.

Plus, remember that your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Even if your product is amazing and the pricing is spot on, you never know when a company from another country might suddenly start targeting your clients with a similar product at a lower price.

By setting your eyes exclusively on your local market, you’re not preparing yourself to manage that risk. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Expanding to other countries

How it’s done

Thanks to new communication technologies, finding and engaging clients abroad is easier than ever.

All you need is a decent knowledge of English. You need to communicate your marketing message in English, so make sure that your website is informative and well-structured.

Build social proof for your product with a portfolio and help prospects get in touch with you by adding plenty of contact data.

To help foreign clients understand your product, you need to follow standards of your niche. Pay attention to the pricing as well, even if you’re targeting clients in an affluent market.

Pros

By expanding to foreign markets, you can be sure that your business is protected against that threat I mentioned earlier.

Find clients in other corners of the globe and you’ll diversify your revenue source. That’s how you make sure that emerging markets don’t eat up your company.

Cons

Still, expanding to foreign markets requires time and effort. You’ll need to switch to English as your main language for communicating with clients and that can be tricky at the beginning.

Your chosen market might be hard to penetrate. One of the most common reasons is the problem of cultural fit. Going international means plenty of research on your side and that’s not always an option for a busy founder.

Key takeaway

You probably know your local market like the back of your hand. But sticking to it at all cost might place a huge risk on your business. If your product follows international standards, check whether your target market has a niche for it.

Once the insights from your analytics show that the target market has potential, just gather all your courage and go for it. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that it’s definitely worth it.

 

About the author:

Piotr Zaniewicz
CEO at RightHello. We help B2B companies get more leads and close more deals.

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