By Astreem Corporation
Businesses internationalise for many reasons and in various ways. Be it proactive or reactive, internationalisation can be perceived as a prerequisite for survival, an opportunity for growth or to exploit an existing competitive advantage in a new market based on direct economic parameters such as market size and costs.
The Singapore International 100 shows that the top 100 SMEs chalked up an average of 17.9% increase in revenues abroad. These figures indicate that internationalisation holds great financial appeal; SMEs with a strong focus on economies of scale can be motivated to internationalise to gain access to foreign markets by creating market diversification or to create international competition. Additionally, they get to increase their network of suppliers needed to minimise operational cost.
However, some companies gradually grow their brands internationally for strategic purposes to gain competitiveness and to add sophistication to their innovation capability or to introduce new products or services to, in turn, add value to the business.
Some research has shown that company size is not the determining factor for internationalisation, this does not mean that internationalisation is an easy task for SMEs. Success factors for the domestic market are not necessarily aligned with those for the global market and customisation is definitely a necessity. The main obstacles to internationalisation are often the lack of strategy during the initial phases, coupled with a lack of knowledge and industry know-how with respect to overseas activities, such as consumer patterns. Moreover, it is easy for a company to get lost in a sea of global competition, and the key to stand out is through distinctive brand differentiation. Regardless of firm size, establishing a distinctive brand identity is a key step to going global.
Internationalisation is a strategic board game and there is no “one size fits all” theory. It makes prudent business sense to seek assistance from an independent business consulting firm. Astreem Consultancy has assisted many local brands established themselves successfully abroad such as The Manhattan Fish Market, Snackz It! and Kindergolf. Additionally, Astreem knows that effective branding is at the core of every businesses’ success. Whether a business needs to invigorate an existing brand or develop a brand strategy and image from scratch, Astreem’s team of branding experts develop a consistent brand image with a fully integrated marketing strategy development service to expose the business to consumers and leverage on the brand’s value, which is critical when there is a need to stand out within the international market place.
Once established overseas, it is crucial that the management has a clear strategy in place to maintain a competitive advantage on the global stage. In order to keep a business at the forefront of the global competition, continued investments in strategic planning to meet the challenges ahead is an absolute necessity. Many local SMEs have started successfully spreading their wings overseas, so what’s holding you back?
Contributed by Astreem Corporation Pte Ltd. For franchise enquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.