All too often companies jump into a new market without thinking through all the implications, so it’s no wonder that 4 out of 5 companies fail when entering a new market, a figure that’s even higher for SMEs.

Many companies fail due to a lack of understanding about the new market:

  • Do you understand the market for your product?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Are there any regulation or legal barriers?
  • How much investment is needed?
  • What is my route to market?

These and 101 other key questions should be thoroughly considered before your company enters a new market to ensure the best chances of success.

What does a Go-To-Market plan actually look like?

You may already know the answers to some of these questions: you may already be trading / distributing; there may be someone in your company, or that you know who has worked or lived in the target country before and ‘knows the answers’. However, entering a new market on the basis of some knowledge, or an ‘opportunity’ that has come your way, can often lead to jumping to the wrong conclusions, making the wrong call, or placing the wrong bet.

You need a go-to-market plan and spending the time to thoroughly develop one should significantly increase your chances of success.

As you develop this plan, you will ask all the relevant questions and examine and address a number of key business considerations with equal vigour & focus that will enable you to define clear objectives and develop a solid business strategy. Most, if not all of this, can be accomplished from your home country.

Companies that have taken the time to develop such a plan typically enter new markets successfully. Without such a plan, companies tend to spend more time and money, use more resources and make more mistakes in market entry, as they have no clearly defined goals, no road map or guide, and often lack the local knowledge to enter the market successfully.

At Trade Horizons, we define seven key areas you need to examine and develop as part of your plan:

  • Customers
  • Product
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Business Development (Sales)
  • People
  • Legal & Regulation

As you develop your market entry plan, you should challenge your thinking and assumptions about each of these key areas: the company and business you have now in your home country, and the business you will establish in the new market, may not be the same.

Where do you get the format or blueprint for such a go-to-market plan?

The good news is there is no one single, universally accepted ‘right’ format. There are many templates and suggestions available. The most important thing is that all aspects of the business and market have been thoroughly interrogated and linked together with a realistic strategy and defined objectives, against a timeline and budget. Also, the structure and content of your go-to-market plan should work for you and your stakeholders. This will enable you to feel confident of taking the next step into the new market.

We at Trade Horizons can help by providing you with the templates and structure of your market entry plan, as well as give you access to relevant local sector experts to give you invaluable insights and guide you through the process.

Our methodology, like all good methodologies, is to work with you via a Business Coach from your targeted country, who will to ask you the right questions to help you create a go-to-market plan that will increase your chances of success in your new market venture.

For further information on the Trade Horizons Market Entry Programmes please contact Nick Jordan on +44 (0)333 210 0737.