The answer is simple: Your business opportunity resides where each and every customer is located, is in need of your product or service, has the ability to pay for it, and you have the ability to deliver! You must have all elements in place and then that is your global opportunity. However, accessing the full breadth of this opportunity can be a challenge.
There are many considerations when expanding into global markets. The first is, should you? If you are a US-based company and sell primarily in North America, the opportunity to double or triple your sales does exist beyond our borders. However, you first need to answer some key questions before you bound into a globalization effort.
Is there a market for our product? Seems a simple question; however, a real example will illustrate why it is important to ask this particular question. The global appetite for bicycle sales each year is 30 million purchased new. Hey, my company has developed a very novel way to protect a bicycle while mounted on a vehicle's bike rack. I can sell 30 million a year and that goes in the business plan. However, of these bicycles less than 10% of them ever get put on a car rack. OK well, that’s still a significant market. So now we drill down a bit further to find that the type of racks or carriers used in Asia will not work with your solution. Hmmm, now we are back to a National and perhaps European product (which can be just fine), but you won’t be able to access the 30 million bike sales that you initial anticipated globally. This is good to know before you simply break out and start building a global product empire. Therefore, going back to Where is you Business Opportunity, it is NOT global but certainly more than local.
There are many other considerations, such as, safety marking, testing, importation, cost of transport, ability to sell and service and so on. There is a wonderful book by Pankaj Ghemawat called Redefining Global Strategy: Crossing Boarders in A Where Differences Still Matter, that I recommend you read if you are planning to expand your business globally. The world really is not “flat” and business are well served to completely understand this.
For more help in developing a globalization plan, or expanding what you have, contact us.