This is a guest blog post by Appvizer.

Step 1: Choose the right country/countries to expand into

Sometimes this part can be the hardest, picking what new market to move your business to can be a daunting question. So start by running through a couple of questions: 

  • Do we already have foreign customers? If so, where are they from? Should we try expanding there? 
  • Do we have multilingual employees? Do they have knowledge of that local market? Do we have partners in other countries?
  • What’s the potential of this market for us? Does our offer match an existing local demand? Is the culture close at all to ours? 
  • Are there any legal or political hurdles we would have to jump over to expand there? 
  • If the target country is in another time zone, how would that affect your operations? 

The most logical first step would be to do a test run in a neighboring country, Canada or Mexico would be the obvious choice for the US. This will allow you to easily recruit people, and even go there more easily if you need to.

Something you should consider not doing is going too fast, especially in a new country. Even if you’ve done a lot of research and feel confident, you could run into unexpected obstacles, such as big competitors that have already been established there for many years. 

Also, don’t forget to establish local partners, they’ll give you exclusive access and insight to your new market, and can even help you comply with local legal and regulatory policies.


Step 2: Adapt your value proposition and marketing strategy

Expanding to a new country means adapting most aspects of your business to the new culture. This includes your value proposition and your marketing strategy, you should adapt/localize all of your communication channels according to your target market, including:

  • Websites
  • Product pages
  • Sales or marketing brochures 
  • Social media pages 
  • Ad campaigns 
  • SEO content 

Localization includes many things, among those: the local language, cultural specificities, trends, levers and laws in place. 

Note: Even though you adapt aspects of your business, you should try to not change your product, it should be seen the same way as it is in your home country. 

Some things to avoid would be, don’t just translate your page verbatim, content meant for your home country has specificities. Also, even though it might be tempting to just make one website in English and call it your “international” page, it won’t work, your Spanish or German speaking prospects probably don’t look stuff up on Google in English.


Step 3: Coordinate your sales and marketing strategies

In order to make the most of your internalization strategy, you should come up with a coherent marketing and sales strategy for the new country. Even better would be to create a specific team for your new market, allowing all departments to coordinate and work together. 

However, don’t let your team get too off track. Managers should be setting the overall strategy, and then they should be adapting that to the target country. And one more thing, don’t change your strategy too much, just for a new country, your overall strategy should have some sort of uniformity regardless of the country. 

Want to learn from someone else’s experience? Read our exclusive interview with Johnathan Anguelov on Appvizer. The co-founder and COO of Aircall shares his story and details how he successfully expanded his start-up abroad.

About the author

Appvizer are B2B media and professional software comparison website. We help companies like yours improve their performance and efficiency, by finding them the best tool possible. We have over one million monthly users from around the world, and we hope this article on international SaaS strategy will help your company grow even further!

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