We are often approached by companies and startup entrepreneurs seeking to launch their products or services into a new international market. Expanding your business into new markets is a complex undertaking and requires a substantial amount of investigation and analysis before deciding to move forward. And, there is no single best answer about “the right way” to it. But, there is a useful framework that you can use to determine the best path forward if you are looking to grow your business into new markets. We typically start by asking the leadership team three questions.
Question #1 - Is your product a good fit for the target market?
The first question we always seek to answer is whether the product will be a good fit for the new market. The answer to this question usually requires a detailed analysis of the proposed new market to understand key elements such as:
The problem to be solved
Price points and willingness to pay
Service, support, and warranty expectations
Culture and language can also play an important role in determining whether a product will be a good fit in the new market. This is particularly important in software products. Market success depends on getting the answer to this question correct.
Question #2 - Does your product meet the regulatory requirements of the target market?
This is usually a complex question that will require the analysis of the company’s technical staff before moving forward into the new market. This analysis needs to be completed early in the process as it can be time-consuming, and may require expertise in the new market as well. Furthermore, some markets will require compliance testing in certified labs (such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in the USA). Such testing is costly and time-consuming. It is also important to understand any licensing requirements that may impact your ability to sell in the new market. Getting these regulatory issues identified and sorted early in the process is extremely important to the overall new market process. We have seen numerous cases where the company missed an important element in the regulatory requirements that caused them to undergo expensive product redesigns, or prevented movement into the new market entirely!
Question #3 - Does your company have the business capabilities to sell and support the product in the new market?
How will you market and sell your product in the new market? Do you have brand recognition in the market to support sales? Will you sell direct, or through a distributor model? Developing direct, in-market capabilities can be costly. But, using intermediaries such as distributors carries risks as well. The right answer to these questions will vary depending on the product and the company.
IIP Can Help
For more than 15 years, the team at IIP has helped Indian companies and entrepreneurs to launch new products and find new markets for existing products. IIP understands the intricacies of moving into new markets and has the experience to help you get it done right the first time. From market and regulatory analysis/compliance to market partner evaluation and selection, IIP can guide you every step of the way.
Contact us today to see how we can help you grow your markets.