How Small Businesses Can Expand into International Markets

While it’s always disappointing to learn that established businesses with premises in Henley are closing down this summer, there is good news for small businesses interested in expanding into international markets. Online trading is growing and sales are becoming less dependent on location. While many people still love to shop locally, they also buy from further afield, not least because their chosen retailer has exactly the merchandise they are looking for. Here are a few tips to boost your business overseas.

Research and marketing development

First, do your research. Where are your goods and services in demand already, besides the domestic market, and where is there an identifiable need that is not currently met? Once you can pinpoint your potential target markets overseas you can then research ways to penetrate them.

Check your marketing strategies to make sure they are fit for purpose in terms of expansion. One of the most effective ways to do this is to work in partnership with marketing experts based in the countries you have identified. They will understand the best ways you can introduce your products and how they will be perceived locally, and they will know which of the business sectors are growing most quickly.


Cost everything carefully. It may be necessary to make a substantial investment initially before you begin to move into profit. If that is the case, there’s no need to worry about making complicated arrangements with banks across the globe; it’s perfectly straightforward to send money from the UK to the States, or any other part of the world, if you work in partnership with a reputable money transfer specialist.

Budgeting for an expanded market is, of course, essential. Remember to factor in any upfront costs, including the appointment of new team members, plus any additional materials, technology or transport costs. There might also be financial implications for product development and marketing at home or overseas.

Management and partnerships

Time differences across the world are easily resolved via cloud technology which allows you to store business information that can easily be retrieved from any location, at any time and by any member of your team, whether they are based abroad or at home. Therefore, everyone can collaborate, share data, easily communicate and even track successful sales. Sophisticated software that keeps your entire network connected does this task very efficiently.

As with your marketing partners, other new team members, if they are to be of good use to your business, should have some knowledge and experience of working at international level. They should also subscribe to the values of your company and share your own vision for successful global expansion.


The final thing you need to consider is whether or not this is the right time to expand your business. It’s important to take account of the fact that such a move will place an extra burden on existing resources, including staff members, finance, and possibly equipment and materials. You should also take care not to drift away from your domestic market during the process.