As of 2016, there were 7.5 billion people in the world. And according to a United Nations report, the world’s population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Much of this growth is expected to occur in rapidly developing regions, like Asia and the Pacific.
As populations and consumer demand continue to grow, shouldn’t you be thinking about how to grow your business worldwide?
Thanks to advances in cloud communications technology, businesses of all sizes can reach new markets around the world—without leaving the office or blowing their budgets. With virtual phone numbers, hosted phone systems, and cloud-based call center software, today’s businesses—no matter how big or small—can establish global reach.
If you’re planning to expand your business into new and emerging markets, here are some questions for you to ask first. The answers will help you develop a successful strategy for global expansion.
Which countries or regions should I target?
One of the biggest reasons for businesses to go global is the opportunity to grow top line revenue. There are so many opportunities for growth, particularly in new and emerging markets.
But, you can’t take on every part of the globe at once. Start by selecting one or two countries or regions in which you know there is a demand for your products and/or services. This makes it easier to evaluate the competitive market and determine how to position your business in terms that appeal to local audiences.
Do my target countries or regions have the infrastructure to support cloud communications?
The best way to grow your business worldwide on a budget is to use cloud communications technology. (Otherwise, you’d have to open a new office or branch in the country or countries you wish to target—and the expenses will add up quickly.)
Since you will be reliant on digital communications, such as VoIP phone service, both you and your prospects need access to high quality, consistent Internet connectivity. While many countries in North America and Europe have consistent Internet penetration rates and connection speeds, those in emerging markets may not. Sources like FastMetrics.com can help you determine whether the countries you plan to target can support VoIP communications.
Should I use local or toll free numbers to communicate with prospects?
Virtual phone numbers—both local and toll free—help businesses establish a local presence where they may not have a physical location. This is essential for any business trying to achieve global expansion.
Local phone numbers and international toll free numbers are formatted to appear regional. To your local customers, they will look like any other local phone number. But, your business can forward inbound calls make to virtual toll free and local phone numbers to any location.
For example: let’s say that your business is based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. But, you want to target customers in the United Kingdom. You can purchase a UK toll free number, which allows your UK prospects to call your business at no charge to them from anywhere within the UK. Or, you can choose to purchase local numbers for specific cities you wish to target, such as London, Bristol, Glasgow, or Birmingham. Your callers pay no more than the cost of a local call to dial your business, and calls forward back to your office in Baltimore.
Grow Your Business Worldwide: Additional Resources
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