After growing your business, the time has come for it to reach the next level, to make it global. This is a major decision and represents a very challenging task, but fear not! Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) takes an approach on entrepreneurship development. We provide you with 8 essential tips on how to face to global entrepreneurship and expand your business successfully into new frontiers!
8 tips for global entrepreneurship
1- Be strong on your main location
Home is where the heart is, as they say, and this home needs to have the most solid foundations. Operations on your headquarters need to function at their very best in order to escalate your business into international markets. This means well-defined and executed processes, good corporate governance and a highly motivated and talented team oriented to achieve well defined objectives, undertaking a set of clearly defined tasks and responsibilities. This will allow your business to quickly respond to any challenge abroad.
2- Build an effective strategy
Strategic management is fundamental on global entrepreneurship. Planning ahead reduces risk and uncertainty, and will help you determine which is the optimal new location for your business.
You should build a well thought out strategic plan that takes into account two things: first, industry analysis to understand the new market conditions which you are about to face, and second, internal analysis to maximize strengths and opportunities, minimize threats and work on weaknesses. Porter’s 5 forces Analysis and the SWOT matrix are tools that will help you achieve both objectives.
3- Consolidate key partners
Expansion and scalability is always easier when finding the right partner, they will make the process a lot smoother by contributing with experience, know how on key activities and providing key resources that otherwise would be difficult to obtain.
Key partners include local suppliers with whom you need to build strong relations and land great deals, and well-informed and experienced investors that pitch in smart money. Both of them will give your business a competitive advantage allowing it to overcome barriers of entry in an easier way.
4- Focus on performance, not revenue
A common mistake for entrepreneurs is to pay too much attention on revenue, without understanding that it does come, but only after your business has grown organically. The same goes on global entrepreneurship. You should initially leave aside revenue related stress and focus on business model effectiveness. Growth should be priority by focusing on the Key Process Indicators (KPIs), specially on customer-related ones, without leaving burn rate aside. Performance is what early stage ventures are all about.
5- Be ready to pivot
In entrepreneurship, pivoting means to shift strategy in order to find the right customer, value proposition or positioning. Sometimes, a business needs to adjust and evolve into something different from what it was originally, in order to effectively meet the customer’s needs. So, understanding that internationalization means new markets and new customers, you need to be prepared to make some adjustments in order to continue growing.
6- Build network
Be social, meet new people, get in touch with fellow entrepreneurs, experts, industry gurus, visit offices, universities, attend events, summits, conferences, don’t stop. If you are not doing any of these, then you are doing it all wrong. Connecting with others in your industry always brings positive things, specially on the entrepreneurship world.
It is always a great idea to identify which events are taking place on the desired international location. For example, Madrid recently held the South Summit, the ultimate meeting point for national and international Investors, Companies and Startups for entrepreneurship encouragement, posing itself as one of the best opportunities to be directly in touch with the most important actors for entrepreneurship.
7- Find support on local universities, institutes and government
Every location has them. You should identify, and benefit from their mentorship and opportunities provided. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid offers great support with Start UC3M, its own Entrepreneurship Association which builds upon organizing networking events, spreading entrepreneurial knowledge, connecting student entrepreneurs and promoting the creation of new businesses amongst the UC3M students
8- Take risks
As simple as that. Any entrepreneur wanting to conquer global markets should be willing to take risks, trust their plan (and guts) and buckle up for the ride. If not, what fun would it be, right?
Finally, as a prize for you, aspiring entrepreneur with global mindset who read this whole article (amazing!), Universidad Carlos III de Madrid meets your needs with its blended program Expert on International Business + Master in Entrepreneurship and Business Venturing.