I watch my client’s team interact, supporting each other’s ideas, as they come to an agreement on what they feel is THE thing their company does best. They’re far more animated than they were when they walked in. Far more comfortable. They’re getting excited about the exploration we’re doing in this discovery, even though they’re still a little uncomfortable with outsiders looking on as they debate.
Really digging in about your business, and all the little things you do to make it great, is not something you do every day. Because you’re so used to doing what you do, it seems like second hand news, but when you realize the uniqueness of your business, and acknowledge it, it definitely feels good. That’s where they are right now, and I’m happy they’re getting into the groove.
They’re a local business, and their grassroots are a big point of pride for them. They believe in the power of being face to face with their customers. They believe that their strong relationships are the fuel their business runs on, and I agree. Their customer service clearly sets them apart. The amount of word of mouth marketing they get is enough to make most business owners salivate like Pavlov’s dog.
But here’s the thing – I also know that they could easily take this global and still deliver the same level of service.
I can see it as clearly as the words they’re writing on the whiteboard. I feel that bubble of excitement rise, as it always does when we do this.
The global market is making huge leaps and bounds, thanks to the ease of doing business online. As new technology develops, and translation gets better, that’s going to open even further because language barriers will be much less of an issue. A world of possibilities is coming.
The statistics for the upcoming global audience are quite staggering.
By 2030 the world’s population is expected to soar to 8.5 billion, and it’s predicted that 75% of those people will have both mobile and internet access.
That’s a lot of customers and a lot of opportunity opening up for savvy business owners. I know my client is one of them.
But in order to do it well, the research into the markets has to be done – thoroughly. The last thing anyone wants is to make a mistake like Best Buy or Target in an international launch.
Best Buy entered into the Chinese and European markets and ended up with a big fail, because they didn’t do the market research necessary to create success.
Because they didn’t do their due diligence, they had no idea that the local consumers in both markets, unlike North American shoppers, are not fans of big box flagship stores.
Additionally in the Chinese market, people aren’t willing to pay big price tags for brands, unless it’s a giant like Apple. And the market itself has a great deal of piracy, which limits the demand for electronics at North American retail prices. That’s some basic stuff you have to know before you take the leap.
Then, let’s not forget the epic fail with Target coming to Canada. That also stemmed from poor market research, with operations and logistical issues compounding the problem.
They didn’t realize the placement of their stores would be a big issue. Target purchased the old Zellers locations from HBC, but many were run down and in areas that were difficult to access. That limited foot traffic in a big way right from the start.
For the shoppers who did go to the stores, pricing was an issue. Canadian shoppers expected much better deals from the brand. The company also didn’t consider the amount of competition they would have to contend with from Walmart, who had already established a solid foothold.
Then their stock issues pretty much sealed their fate. Empty shelves led to a lot of negative experiences, which resulted in shoppers who couldn’t be bothered to return to the store again.
Instead of turning a profit in less than a year like they promised to investors, they ended up pulling out of the market in less than two years. Sadly, pretty much all of it could have been negated if they’d done the necessary in depth research.
Learning from the failure of others is the name of the game. It’s so much better when it’s not yours! There’s something to be said for working back from a worse case scenario…you get to devise a much better plan for a successful launch.
As the meeting with my local client wraps up, my head is already spinning ideas. I love this part. It lights me up like a five-year-old on Christmas eve, imagining the possibilities to come. The threads are weaving together to form the potential my client doesn’t see yet. That’s where the evolution starts.
In a few weeks we’ll deliver their new direction. I’m certain developing into the global market is going to be the right thing, and I’m confident the research will back me up.
I nod my head knowingly to myself, pleased with where it’s going. And pleased we know how to avoid the pitfalls of going global.
There’s a world of opportunity out there when you’re willing to evolve your business and take it to a new level. Explore more ideas and possibilities on our blog >> Leading the Evolution.