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7 Tips for a successful international development

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Benjamin Barthélémi
Channel Manager, EASI

When a company is growing, there is always a moment, when it begins to imagine a development outside its borders, think about the export of its expertise or its products.

Where to start? What strategy to adopt? Here are some valuable tips before you launch yourself in this rewarding adventure.

1.    Plan

International development can not be improvised. Planning is crucial. Establish its strategy, make a business plan, define your major actions: these initiale steps are obligatory when embarking on such a project. 

2.    All or nothing

When your different actions are planned, don't be afraid.
Developping your business internationally is harsh. However, if you want to succeed in your international story: see BIG!

3.    Stay focus

During your development process, many opportunities and distractions will cross your path.
Keep a critical mind and learn to distinguish an opportunity from a distraction. Keep your goal and action plan in mind.
To disperse yourself could lead to a waste of time, you could run out of breath, or even fail in driving your project.

4.    Market selection

A good market selection is mandatory. Before you pick a country, take the time to analyze the market, its potential, the competition for your product.
Feel the field, these analyses and research will save you valuable time and allow you to prioritize the essential steps of your development. 

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5.    Adapt the products and services 

Your products and services fit your local market. They answer your local market's need.
The question to be asked at this stage of your development is: "is my product / service suitable for the targeted markets?"
Stay tuned and flexible, learn from each feedback you might reap. Adaptation is a key dimension in international trade.

6.    Adapt to the local culture  

Adapt your approach and your way of working to your new market.
Every country has a local culture. Be curious, take the time to get to know the region you want to seduce, know the challenges that your interlocutors are facing on a daily basis, take the regional specificities into account, It will help the relations with your future customers/partners.
Some adaptations are mandatory, others are complementary. Play the game; get out of your comfort zone. 
For example, dare to say hello in your interlocutor's mother tongue ;) 

7.    Get help

 You are not alone. Many organizations are there to help you: AWEX, chambers of commerce, business clubs... 
Feel free to contact them and talk about your project. Their field experiences are a valuable source of information. They are also inspiring.

In two words: International development is all about being prepared and organized. It is a long-term job that must be part of the company's growth strategy.
These 7 Key tips will help you gain valuable time in your development. 

Good luck!

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