The first couple of steps for opening a business seem relatively straightforward — finding customers and selling your product or service! However, as you’re going to grow from a small company to a medium enterprise, you may have more options. In order to grow your business, you can offer new products/services, go after bigger clients, or even explore new markets. But how do you know you’re ready to go international?
Customers are banging down your online door
If you have an online presence and you’re getting a number of messages on Facebook or email, you know it’s time to start considering other countries. When BitPesa is deciding which new country to expand into, one of the things we do is tally up the requests for different kinds of currencies and countries from our communication channels to see where demand is the highest.
Production exceeds supply
If you have built really robust production capability and have the ability produce more at the same quality, then why not? If the production is available domestically, and the demand is available internationally, then it makes sense to start selling across your borders. If you have put in all the effort to increase production and preserve quality control, it would be a waste not to use it.
You consistently hit your domestic targets
If you’re setting pretty aggressive sales targets in your home country and you’re still consistently hitting them month on month, then it probably means to expand abroad. If you are worried about accepting payments from customers abroad in their local curries, no worries– BitPesa has got you covered.
Be opportunistic. Is there a new policy that is favourable towards exporters? A new free trade zone opening? If there is a specific corridor that is opening up, you should be among the first to test it and see if you can make money with it! There are a lot of new initiatives that encourage trade in a way that minimizes risk for SMEs, including tax breaks, free physical space, and government support.
Reducing domestic risk
If you are in somewhat volatile and economically unstable market, like many countries in Africa, there might be potential for things to go wrong in your own market. You might want to be forward thinking and protect yourself against a decline in domestic sales. Diversifying to other markets can help reduce reliance on one market, product, or segment. This will help ensure your company’s resilience against of natural slowdowns, seasonal trends, and economic headwinds.