With this question lacking specific detail about the business, it is hard to pinpoint a specific strategy. However, assuming this company is not an internationally recognized brand and is selling product(s) the I would advise the following:
- Make sure there is a demand for your product is there, what works in one country probably will not appeal to others in a foreign country unless a new branding and marketing strategy is created around the culture of the foreign country.
-Consider supply chain issues. If you are building and shipping from your home country, then some potential foreign countries will not be worth the shipping cost or risk. Also, does the foreign country have the infrastructure to support your business and any shipping needs?
-Politics- Consider conflicts both current and potential. Many areas are not worth the risk if conflict escalates or begins.
-Patents and lack of intellectual property rights- Sometimes you can not file a patent or patents are not strictly enforced in some foreign countries. This will lead to a high risk of someone in the foreign country copying your product and selling it cheaper, ousting you from the marketplace.
I suggest company should have different business models for them to go for an international market.
Localise, localise, localise.
Engage local management consultant to help to build your business, don't try friends' helps if they are not competent - waste time, waste money, and spoilt relationship.
I know as I had help companies from Europe, US, and Asia (for regionalise).
Paul your question has a very simple answer which many of the successful entrepreneurs might have said in the past " think global, act local". Any company which is successful in a given market does not mean will succeed in another market with the same business approach. For example, M-Pesa Mobile money is successful in Kenya, which did not appeal to any other market with the same magnitude as expected. Each and every market acts differently and to become successful we need to understand the market needs, consumer behavior, competitive and price advantage and so on.
Jeremy has provided some very good advice, beginning with ensuring there is adequate demand to offset the cost of participating in the international market.
I would consider some of the fundamentals of legal protections and rules of law in the market you plan to participate. If you believe you have significant intellectual property, you are exposing yourself to some significant IP risks in certain parts of the world. In addition, tax laws can be exceptionally complex and may make business prohibitive without establishing a legal and taxable presence in certain countries in this region. In places like Saudi Arabia, this is an imperative.
I highly recommend finding local partners in the region who align well with your business and who can provide an organic channel for your products or services. You can't underestimate the nuances of culture and the local business environment.
As Jeremy stated, Supply Chain is always a huge challenge, and it must be addressed at all levels, from the local consumer to the national policies and infrastructure challenges.
One area to consider is a university partnership. Many universities in developing countries are actively seeking opportunities to partner with international businesses to develop academic content and remain relevant in the international educational market.
In addition to the legal aspects, from a marketing perspective there are ways to identify similar profiles of customers that work well domestically and then translate that to similar profiles globally. The key to this type of analytics is to make sure that the company you are using truly has a global presence & global data assets. Best of luck, Kelly Jo
Well Middle East/ Asia both of them have different Geographical Areas and also traditions.
Where every you go think local and do a lot of research so that you can understand your target customers and then act.