Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Do I need a Market Entry Strategy?

If its time for your company to expand internationally or if you're already international and looking at new countries to enter, the answer is yes! As entrepreneurs know from starting their businesses there are always things that pop up that they did not anticipate or plan for. Developing a strategy reduces uncertainty by committing to paper what you know, what you think you will do and how you will do it. Many people “know” what they are going to do but when asked to write it down they often find it challenging. By taking the time to write an entry plan (and utilizing a solid plan template) it forces them to think through all the steps they need to take and make sure they have covered as many elements as possible as well as put the right resources in place.

The other advantage of writing a plan is to obtain outside perspective or guidance. Entrepreneurs often get wrapped up in day to day operations and are challenged to step up and look at the big picture. By soliciting experienced external assistance the CEO can have someone look at their company without the rose colored glasses we often wear and make suggestions / recommendations which may have been over looked. This will often challenge the CEO’s thinking and lead to a better overall strategy. Generally speaking an experienced operator in your vertical is your best bet. If you can get them to help you for free great, if not find a consultant that does this for a living and map out what they will deliver and what you will do to develop your plan.

If a CEO chooses not to do the upfront market research and develop a coherent entry strategy, the best case scenario is a bit of floundering and squandering of valuable time and resources (something most small businesses can ill afford). Worst case scenario is an entry failure or even more disastrous the development of a brand error which could haunt any future re-entry endeavors.

The bottom line is that by investing your time and energy into writing a market entry strategy before you start selling, you will reduce entry uncertainty, be more confident you have the right plan and ultimately greatly increase your chances of success in your chosen market.

No comments:

Post a Comment