How to Introduce a Company to New Regions
Introducing your company to new regions is an important strategy for growing your business. If you offer a product or service that sells successfully in your existing market, you may be able to replicate that success in other regions or in export markets. Although the Internet has made it possible for small businesses to offer products anywhere in the world, market success requires more than a website in multiple languages. To gain recognition and acceptance in new regions, you have to introduce your company and your people, as well as your products.
Step 1: Identify the regions that offer the strongest market opportunities. Look for regions in the U.S. that have similar market profiles but no strong competitors. Research potential export markets where your products or services meet local needs. Ask an organization such as the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce for advice and information on opportunities in different countries. When you have identified the regions with the greatest potential, you can plan the best way to introduce your company.
Step 2: Assign expansion responsibilities. Decide how you will market your products in the new regions and who will take responsibility for introducing the company. If you plan to set up a branch in a new region staffed by your own people, select an employee to take responsibility for managing the introduction of the company. If you appoint a representative to sell direct to prospects in the new region without setting up a local branch, the local representative is responsible for the introduction. If you intend to market your products through a distributor, brief the distributor on your company and provide communications material so that he can introduce your company.
Step 3: Build your knowledge of the important channels to market in the new region. Find out the dates of trade exhibitions relevant to your business. Check the reader data of local newspapers and business magazines to see which publications are suitable for introducing the company through advertising or press releases. Identify local trade associations or business groups that you can use for networking.
Step 4: Ask the U.S. Commercial Service for advice on the most suitable marketing approach to your chosen export regions. Local officers can provide market research and may be able to assist with introductions to influential local buyers or government agencies. Participate in trade delegations or exhibitions in export markets that offer major opportunities. As well as introducing your company to the region, you gain a greater insight into local market conditions.
Step 5: Hold a launch event to introduce your company with impact. Invite local prospects to the opening of your new branch or the premises of the local distributor you have appointed. Participate in an important local exhibition or trade event that targets prospects in your market. Offer to speak on business issues at meetings of local trade associations or business groups and take the opportunity to introduce your company.
Step 6: Notify local prospects that your company is now open for business in their region. Place an advertisement or send a press release to local newspapers and magazines announcing that your products or services are available locally. Invite local journalists to your launch event to improve media coverage. Create a page on your website that gives details of your new local operations. Contact key prospects by email, direct mail or telephone to announce your regional presence.