Thinking about taking your business international business? Here are five tips for making the transition smooth, including getting to know the market, making solid connections within your network, and not being afraid to try something new. Want additional help making this transition? Don’t hesitate to contact a Safeguard strategist today! We are ready to field your questions and create a plan that works for your business.
Langley Steinert is a co-founder of TripAdvisor TRIP -0.25%(NASDAQ: TRIP) who went on to found CarGurus, which he grew — without VC funding — into the #1 trafficked auto shopping website in the United States. The company recently went global, adding Canadian and the UK markets, and continues to experience rapid growth.
As a seasoned entrepreneur, here are Steinert’s top five tips for international expansion.
- Get to know the market and make friends
This seems obvious, right? But Steinert says it’s amazing how often businesses get tripped up by subtle cultural differences, language miscues, legal and financial compliance issues, etc. “Even when we launched CarGurus in the UK, where we had the luxury of a shared language and a great number of marketplace similarities, we still found ourselves having to adapt on the fly as new knowledge made us rethink some of our best laid plans,” Steinert recalls. “What helped us most was spending time on the ground early on and building strong local partnerships with people willing to share insights and help us navigate the market.”
- Don’t be afraid to break from the herd.
“If you are not there to disrupt, what’s the point?” Steinert asks. “Tread too carefully and you risk being a ‘me too’ company, and still an outsider, at that. You need to use the playbook that got you success at home, but become more flexible and adaptive.” He notes, “If you are lucky, the core competencies are the differentiators that will drive your success abroad.” For example, “At CarGurus, we offer consumers a very different car shopping experience than many international competitors, which is precisely why we are moving into their markets. We have a proven track record with which to stake our claim and we can deliver what we’ve found consumers want and need.”
Read the full article: 5 Tips for Taking Your Business International | Forbes http://bit.ly/2cMrPuP