Internationalization has become increasingly relevant for the competitiveness of companies of all sizes. Nowadays, particularly SMEs operating always more in a global market can move quickly to take advantage of international activities, seizing opportunities for not only revenue growth but also the exchange of knowledge and the enhancement of skills.
Internationalization of business is one of the ways a company responds to the impact of globalisation, yet a successful internationalization process respects and emphasizes the distinctiveness of an organisation.
Why should I internationalize my business?
Here are the main reasons why internationalization is a good choice today:
- MORE SECURITY - Internationalization grants a true independency from the local market
Your business will be less vulnerable to periodic fluctuations and downturns in the local market. During economic crises, thanks to their capacity to reach foreign markets, many companies keep and also improve their production capacity, employment and financial structure;
- MORE PROFITS – Internationalization allows to improve performances
Your business will increase sales and profits. By expanding your activities globally you will likely improve your overall revenue. Nowadays, customers are global and if your company is able to look beyond the borders of your domestic market, you have some real upside potential. Sales in foreign marketplaces can also be performed at a higher price than the one applied for the local economy. Many imported products are paid, indeed, as premium products and foreign brands.
- MORE SKILLS – Internationalization enhances productive capacity and management learning
Extending your actions and customer base internationally can help you create new product, learning from other markets and competitors, and get used to work with very demanding and different customers. A company can benefit so much from participating in a diverse and competitive market that its own product design and marketing strategy would improve and benefit from the interaction with other markets needs.
- MORE BRAND – internationalization helps to improve a company brand-reputation
Enlarging the activities abroad and working with various partners and new clients can help a company improve its brand reputation. Brand reputation represents all the ideas and emotions that a customer associates with the brand and the customer service experienced during the acquisition of goods or services, whilst using them, and after-sales services provided by the company. Thus, a favourable brand reputation signifies that customers trust a brand and they are more likely to buy its products.
- MORE COMPETITIVENESS – Internationalization reduces costs by virtue of enhancing productive efficiency
In many industries internationalization can support companies achieving greater scales of economy, in particular for companies from smaller domestic marketplaces. In other cases, a firm may seek to exploit a unique and differentiating advantage, such as its service model, its brand, or a patented-product.
Despite the common understanding of the relevance of internationalization, there are still many internal and external barriers that obstruct the internationalization of many companies, especially SMEs. Among the various issues that any organisation should solve in order to succeed in its international business development process, these are some of the main problems: The business strategy to implement; The potential business-partner to choose; The specific activities to develop (import/export/production/etc.); The country or the region where to focus; The knowledge and skills of the employees; The cross-cultural awareness of the people interacting with the company.