Leading the International Growth and Market Expansion

April 19, 2019 by Juha Merinen

Internationalization is a process and not an event 

Going international is easy when one keeps only one thing in mind all the time. Internationalization is a process and not an event. Therefore it is of utmost importance that you are fully aware of how to create the strategy framework for going international. Strategy is all about setting the course and navigating to the right direction.

Once the strategy to go international has been done then starts what I call ”The Final Lap”. The extended competences and skills required to come out as a winner from the final lap are as follows:

  • To be able to execute the plan
  • To focus on building the muscle and
  • To be able to measure the pland and results

Planning Won´t Do it – Doing It Will Do It

Success is not an accident. Success is a very logical outcome of the execution of a good plan. Therefore you need to keep in mind that strategy itself does not do anything. Only the implementation of the plan will do it.

High-Growth Business Development and Business Leader´s Tasks at different Growth Stages

It does not matter whether you are a Start-Up company or developing a new product or service offering or making a decision to enter into a new target market. The same logic will apply to you as a responsible Business Leader when planning your actions within these four typical Growth Stages.

  • In the so called Start-Up phase the key is to define the offering and to create your Business Model and to start building up market awareness
  • In the Initial Growth phase, you should focus on obtaining the attraction from the market and to gain both customers and of course – the revenue
  • In the phase of Rapid Growth you should pay attention to differentiate yourself from the competition or in other words – aim to get into the famous Blue Ocean
  • Once the Continued Growth phase has been achieved one of the key focus areas for you as a Business Leader is to continue to grow the business

The Final Lap: Execute, Build Muscle and Measure

These are some of the key areas on which you should pay attention to when enhancing your skills-set to go international.

  • Business & Sales Intelligence Leadership: Measurable sales intelligence and competence development to ensure Excellence in Internationalization
  • Communications & Marketing Leadership: Communications strategy to identify critical goals, target audiences and align with key international business Objectives
  • Customer Relationship Management Leadership: Customer driven operational model to ensure strong customer relation and Voice of Customer
  • Market Entry Plan: What really needs to be considered when opening a new market
  • Social Selling: Sam Kusinitz from HubSpot has stated that: “Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy”.

Be absolutelly sure about Your cultural awareness

Even when all the plans have been done perfectly then comes the final part which still can ruin everything what you have planned to do and that is the culture. Please do keep in mind that culture will eat your strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

As Charles Darwin once said: ”The one that is most adaptable to change will survive”.

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