In any case, you need to be objective about your capacity. Sometimes it’s cheaper to contract this kind of research from international research companies that specialize in this sort of thing, since it is quite a challenge to do high-quality research of this kind on your own. Not to mention that it is common to be off the mark when estimating the cost of preparing for market entry.
Sooner or later, successful companies reach a point where they need to scale up their business and enter foreign markets. Southeast Asia, which is currently setting the trends for global economic growth, is particularly attractive in that regard.
This is a huge market, despite having thousands of its own brands. Plus, entering the markets of each individual Asian country is a unique, incomparable experience.
First off, it is very important to achieve visibility for your brand: almost no one in Asia wants to work with a European company that doesn’t have a certain level of name recognition. Participating in expos, forums, and conferences can help with that. That’s not to say you should ignore negotiations and one-on-one meetings, but the large-scale events are a good additional tool. You can learn a lot of new things by attending, as well as establish the contacts you need.
The audience for trade shows abroad generally consists of private entrepreneurs and potential clients. Next, you need to choose your country. A variety of factors influence the process of entering the Asian market, including macroeconomics, politics, and personalities. If the high-level political relationship between your two countries is going smoothly, your business won’t run into problems either. Mutual recommendations help a lot. Clients and partners will be more comfortable working with you if they know your company has already had a successful partnership with another country in this region.
Choosing the right country is a very important aspect of entering the region. It’s worth starting wherever the barriers to entry are lower. First, enter the market in a smaller country, test it out, make all the mistakes you can, and only after that try growing your presence in the markets of larger countries.
From the very beginning, your company should have someone responsible for international development, because entering other countries is always accompanied by serious adjustments to adapt to them: studying the local laws, adapting your products and services to match local idiosyncrasies, and so on.
After that you have to research the market you chose very deeply and in great detail. You need to collect a huge mass of data, from cultural aspects to the specifics of distribution, commercial environment, and retail chains already present in the country.
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