Small and medium businesses play a critical role in the global economy. However, now the market is becoming larger in retail and eCommerce: small businesses are closing down, unable to withstand competition with large players. This trend exists all over the world: large online stores are growing most actively, while large offline retailers, which began to develop digital sales channels during the crisis, are replacing small players. At the same time, small and medium-sized businesses are the driving force of the global economy: they contribute to the development of innovations, the creation of new jobs, and an increase in the middle class. Here are the tools that will allow small and medium-sized companies to remain competitive in the international market.
Mobile technologies are rapidly gaining popularity, and consumers around the world are increasingly using mobile devices for shopping. For example, during the last year, the volume of mobile payments through PayPal grew by 54%. The growing popularity of smartphones is also leading to the widespread penetration of the mobile Internet. This trend will only grow, bringing new solutions to the business world. Just 20 years ago, it was impossible to make really cheap calls to Eritrea, but now it is possible with the development of mobile technologies.
At the initial stage, it is crucial to understand whether, in principle, your company is ready to enter the international market. Do you have a product or service that is in demand in the domestic market? If so, then the chances of success abroad are also high. Conversely, when there are problems selling a product locally, entering the international market can be a dubious decision.
Out of hundreds of countries, you will have to choose 1-3 where you can get started. How to do it? We recommend studying the international flows of exports/imports of goods or services, but first of all, consider the markets from which you have recently received inquiries or with which you have personal experience of interacting. Also, pay attention to the markets:
- With free trade agreements with your country;
- Which are located nearby and are easy in terms of logistics/transportation;
- With which there is a cultural similarity;
- In which there are insufficiently developed opportunities for promoting end products.
In the first stage, 10-15 potential markets can be selected, and then the criteria for a deeper comparative analysis will have to be determine
The key question at this stage is what strategy in the new market will help you succeed. It is necessary to determine the way of positioning products, dealing with pricing, channels, and mechanisms of promotion. There are various modes of distribution in new markets. SMEs usually use the following: agent, distributor, and e-commerce. The challenge for a business is to choose the way to market that best suits the company’s niche, its products, and its available resources.