Navigating Your Business Expansion Plan

Navigating Your Business Expansion Plan

Navigating Your Business Expansion Plan

6 questions to guide your business expansion into new markets

6 questions to guide your business expansion into new markets

If you’re expanding your business into other markets, you'll need to navigate a range of new market requirements and challenges.

Give your small business the best chance at success by developing a strong expansion plan. This plan should take into consideration factors including your market choice, growth costs and even your marketing budget.

Here are the six questions to start with as you build your own plan.

1. Which markets should you target?
There are many contributing factors to consider when choosing your target market such as working with local partners, or if expanding internationally, to choosing the right shipping solution or eCommerce business platform.

More importantly is to find markets where you have identified customer groups who may be interested in your products or services.

2. Will you need to adapt your products and marketing approach?
Expansion is easier and more cost-effective when you don’t have to make many changes to your existing products or services. This doesn’t mean you won’t have to find a way to position your products differently in order to get buyer attention and interest. This positioning should be included in your expansion plan as it will help you make decisions and investment choices down the track.

Customers have many different reasons why they buy the same product in different markets. Keep this in mind for marketing in each territory: what works in one market may not work in another. So, if you create targeted messaging, promotions and offers in different regions, be mindful they may not work across all regions.

There are several ways you can differentiate your product or services in a new market. Consider your price and product positioning, highlight some products and not others according to each market, promote colors or styles you know will sell best or that meet the specific demands of regional buyers.

3. Are there additional costs involved?
If you’re utilizing eCommerce business platforms to expand overseas, you may need website updates to allow for new market activities, logistics changes and more. Some of these changes may involve one-off costs, while others need ongoing investments. A clear inventory of these costs can help you better forecast your profit margins and whether you’ll need to adjust your prices.

Launching into new markets include marketing costs, set-up costs for distributors or local partners and, of course, transportation. Partner with a reputable logistics provider to ensure all your hard work to launch in a new market pays off with reliable delivery to your new customers. FedEx offers both shipping and delivery management service to support successful delivery completions for small businesses just like yours.

4. Who are your competitors in these new markets?
An online search can reveal the businesses currently supplying these markets, allowing you to compare products, pricing and positioning. This information can help you work out how to position your own products to be competitive.

5. What delivery options are available in these markets?
If you don’t currently sell many products to international customers, your existing fulfilment setup may need to be updated – or even changed entirely.

For example, your existing delivery options and services might need to be supplemented with others that give new customers in these markets the speed, price and returns options they expect. You might also want to consider a combination of services for customers who may want to have better bang for their buck. For example, leveraging on both FedEx Express and FedEx Logistics services. This lets you ship in greater volumes to a holding location, which can reduce overall transportation and delivery costs without compromising reliability.

Get more information and advice on international shipping services today.

6. What new rules and regulations do you need to know?
Crossing borders into new markets means your business will need to comply with new customs regulations. You’ll also encounter new tax requirements, restrictions on certain products and other rules that could require you to adapt your usual strategy.

Plan ahead
Expanding overseas or entering into new markets can put your business on a fast learning curve. With the right logistics partner and a solid expansion plan, you can take your small business into new markets with confidence.