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14 Apr 2024 • 4 min read

5 Key Strategy Pillars for Companies Going Global

Danny Parker

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For New Zealand business owners, the journey doesn’t end at entering a new market. It’s all about what comes next—growing, having an impact and getting better in these new markets. Here, we take cues from Debbie Humphrey of Dsrupt to give you straightforward, smart strategies that help you grow further, smarter. We'll look at why stepping back and looking at the big picture can help you see new chances for growth, how to move past personal biases to make better business choices, and how knowing the ins and outs of your market can give you an edge. This article is for Kiwi businesses going global, aiming to not just compete, but win.

1. Understanding Market-Led Growth Strategies

This is a bit like taking a bird’s-eye view of the landscape ahead. It’s essential for Kiwi businesses with global aspirations to zoom out and read the terrain. This strategy is more than just a leap; it’s a calculated step in a direction dictated by real-world demand and customer needs that are already out there.

Let’s break it down. You’ve got a product or service that’s a hit at home. Great. But the question now is—what does the wider world want? What problems do international customers face that you have the solutions for? A market-led approach means listening to those whispers and shouts in the marketplace, and understanding the trends and gaps. It’s a deep dive into what’s out there, not just what you hope will be.

Think of it as gathering intelligence—a recon mission where you're gathering the data on consumer behaviors, identifying voids in the market, and sizing up the competition. You’re not just scouting for opportunities; you’re looking for a fit, a place where your business’s strengths can meet market demands head-on.

For the NZ entrepreneur looking beyond our shores, this is your playbook for global growth. It’s about being savvy, strategic, and a step ahead. By rooting your growth in the fertile soil of market needs, you’re not just planting your flag in new territory—you’re ensuring it will thrive there. This section is dedicated to equipping you with the insights to make informed moves that align with what the market is not just welcoming, but is eager for.

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2. Overcoming Subjectivity in Strategy Development

Shifting from what we think we know to what's genuinely happening in the marketplace is a crucial step in crafting a strategy that will stand up to international scrutiny. It's easy to get caught up in what we believe or hope is true, especially when we're deeply invested in our businesses. But the hard truth? The market doesn't care about our gut feelings—it responds to facts.

For a Kiwi business looking outward, this means doing a bit of detective work. Start by challenging your assumptions. The beliefs that served you well at home might not hold water on the international stage. This is about cold, hard data—what are the numbers saying? What trends are driving growth? Who's already playing the game well, and why?

It's a shift from a 'me' to a 'we' mindset—understanding your business from the customers' viewpoint, not just your own. This section is all about clearing the fog of personal bias to reveal a clearer path forward. It’s not just about being in the game; it's about playing to win. By rooting your strategy in objective truth, you're building on a foundation that's solid, not just hopeful. Let's dive into how you can harness this objectivity to refine your international strategy, ensuring it's robust, responsive, and ready for the global arena.

3. Importance of Market Intelligence

This is the backbone of any successful international strategy. It goes beyond basic market research by diving deep into the specifics—what consumers are buying, why they choose one product over another, and what trends are shaping the industry globally. This isn't just about gathering data; it’s about interpreting it to uncover actionable insights that can steer your business in the right direction.

For New Zealand businesses aiming to make their mark overseas, understanding the nuances of foreign markets is crucial. This means looking at your direct competitors, but also analysing global players who might set the trends that define the future of the market. It's about knowing not just your battlefield but also the weapons and tactics at your disposal.

This section delves into how you can leverage market intelligence to anticipate customer needs, adapt to evolving markets, and position your business advantageously. It's not enough to know the current state of play; you need to predict where the market is heading. By doing so, you can align your business strategies with market realities and ensure that your venture not only enters new markets but is also poised to thrive and expand.

4. Innovative Expansion Tactics Beyond Organic Growth

Expanding into international markets doesn’t always mean starting from scratch. Innovative expansion tactics like partnerships, alliances, and even acquisitions can offer shortcuts to growth beyond the slow and steady pace of organic expansion. These strategies allow businesses to leverage existing strengths and assets within foreign markets, providing a more immediate presence and impact.

For New Zealand SMEs, the idea of forming strategic partnerships or considering mergers with companies overseas can open doors to new customer bases without the heavy initial outlay typically involved in building from the ground up. Acquisitions, for example, can instantly provide market access, brand recognition, and operational capabilities in a new region.

These non-traditional growth methods can be a game-changer for businesses looking to scale quickly and efficiently. Aligning with local partners can provide critical market insights and local know-how, reducing the typical barriers and risks associated with new market entry.

5. Preparation and Research for Internationalisation

Before venturing into unknown territories, it’s crucial to build a solid foundation of knowledge about potential markets. This involves more than just understanding consumer demographics; it requires a deep dive into cultural nuances, economic conditions, regulatory environments, and competitive landscapes.

A key component of this preparatory work is feasibility studies. These studies help determine whether a market is suitable for your product or service and identify any adjustments needed to meet local tastes and legal requirements. Additionally, connecting with local experts and leveraging their insights can provide invaluable on-the-ground perspectives that no amount of remote research can match.

Equipped with thorough research, Kiwi companies can navigate foreign landscapes with agility and precision. This preparation empowers them to make informed decisions, mitigate risks, and seize opportunities with foresight. 

In Conclusion

The journey of international expansion begins with a strategic map: understanding market-led growth strategies, overcoming subjectivity, harnessing market intelligence, embracing innovative expansion tactics, and conducting thorough preparation and research. By adopting these strategic pillars, businesses can navigate the complexities of global markets with confidence. Let these insights fuel your ambitions!

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