This week’s affiliate is providing entrepreneurs with the chance to access a network of experienced professionals and their collective marketing, investing, and entrepreneurial knowledge. GAIIN™ (Global Action International Investment Network) acts as an international hub, bringing representatives from government offices and private businesses together at their Summits to find both financing channels and expert advice as to the best way to build a sustainable future. Hilary Gadsby, co-owner of GAIIN™ and CEO of her own corporate marketing firm, A Gadsby Affair, has graciously gave our readers her advice on the best ways for their business to take advantage of international opportunities.
Taking Advantage of International Opportunities
Nearly 96% of consumers and over 66% of the world’s purchasing power reside outside the United States. To take advantage of these opportunities, small businesses looking to increase sales and profit by taking their businesses global should consider these suggestions. For further resources, visit www.export.gov.
Using chambers of commerce and consulates overseas
Most foreign entities are happy to help new businesses hoping to expand to their shores. So do a little bit of research, and see if any programs are specifically in place to attract foreign companies.
Standard marketing: where are the opportunities?
You likely know how to sell your product in the states, but what is your target audience overseas? Again, a little bit of marketing research can go a long way; you may even find an entirely different niche to market to! Test your product or service before you decide to set up a sales office or manufacture in that country
To help you in your marketing research, plan a business trip to whatever country you are looking to expand into. What is being sold there now? Is there anything similar to your product? Is there anyone you can meet with that has experience operating in this market? A trade mission is an excellent opportunity to gain some first-hand experience.
What are the customary ways of doing business in each country?
This is extremely important, as you do not want to ruin a potential deal simply due to a cultural misunderstanding. Know what potential business partners and investors expect from you; dress, greetings, and punctuality are all-important and vary between regions. Something often overlooked are business gifts. Many countries have specific beliefs associated with objects, so if you plan to give a gift, make sure it does not signify something else in the culture you are planning to operate in.
How do you learn about the networking connections you need?
When you talk to the Chamber of Commerce, see if there are any events in the area where you can network with other businesses. Often times they will sponsor events to help new businesses get their foot in the door. International Conferences are also an excellent place to meet people who can help you establish yourself in a foreign country.
Find strategic partnerships with similar markets:
This can help you track down sources of financing and funding that have a history of working with similar products. A partnership could also mean advice on how best to minimize risk in this market.
To further assist businesses to connect internationally in Los Angeles, GAIIN™ Inc., (Global Action International Investment Network) presents a unique branded conference and event series that is designed to ignite true global change. Bringing together a multidisciplinary mix of international government and trade organizations, cross-industry experts, leaders in global finance and investment, innovative businesses in technology and sustainability, GAIIN events facilitate international working partnerships, real global collaboration and presents new financial funding avenues to help connect international businesses.