We live in a global economy, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for every organization to go global. Many small and medium-size businesses struggle to overcome the barriers that stand in the way of an international expansion. The process is quite extensive, but it mostly comes down to capital and how that capital is implemented, which is neither easy nor cheap.
The “new normal” has increased these challenges. Social distancing won’t last forever, nor will today’s remote working policies remain in place until the end of time. The world will ebb and flow as needed, and organizations will strive to keep up.
When entering new markets, businesses will have to consider the current climate, as well as the size of their operation and their intended growth over the months and years to come. With an oversized team and an overly expensive office, the costs could quickly outpace any potential revenue. But if the operations are too small, it might not be able to keep up with sales, limiting the firm’s overall potential.
Markets that are ripe for growth are bound to attract several new entrants. Those that are already well established are sure to be overrun with competitors that fiercely defend against any and all newcomers. These are just some of the inevitable challenges that businesses face when looking to expand.
But with the advent of digital innovations, the cost and procedures of implementing an international infrastructure have been reduced. Enterprises no longer need deep pockets or vast resources to access the same enterprise-grade technology as their larger counterparts.
This is all due to the rise of cloud-based infrastructure and global telecommunications, two groundbreaking, game-changing developments that have reduced the hurdles to growth. International scalability is now within range, allowing SMBs to access markets that were once difficult to reach. Cloud-based platforms are responsible for this transition, enabling everything from email and CRM to ERP and voice technology. Not all barriers have been removed by these innovations, but they have significantly reduced some key challenges. With a phone, computer and Internet, businesses can serve virtually any market from any location.
Surviving (and thriving) in a post-pandemic world
From our favorite streaming video services to email, social media and everything in between, the cloud has allowed several businesses to flourish. However, the technology has also helped organizations thrive in ways that few may realize, including customer service and sales.
Consumers demand a level of customization and personalization in absolutely everything. We see that across live streaming, online shopping and many other avenues. They expect tailor-made experiences throughout the buying cycle, from product search to the actual purchase, all the way up through customer support.
Thus, in order to best meet customer needs – now and after the pandemic has subsided – businesses must enlist in the power of a reliable, 24/7 customer platform. They require one that provides the ability to connect with local customers. And they need to be able to respond quickly to customer inquiries while also adding a personal touch whenever possible.
At the same time, sales teams need the flexibility of a platform that allows them to get work done at any time and from any location, regardless of where they are located. Whether working from a hotel, a coffee shop or from home during particularly challenging circumstances, sales teams need a solution that’s as dependable as it is efficient.
Technology now makes this a reality, enabling SMBs to successfully scale in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible, replicating the core sales and service delivery infrastructure without a major investment. Cloud-based technologies are particularly essential, offering a variety of solutions – aiding in both customer service and telephony – to empower outstanding growth.
Attracting new customers in a new era of business
There are numerous examples of big businesses that have failed to expand into new markets – some learned from their mistakes and went on to success, others did not. Their challenges were always the same: they simply could not attract and properly service local customers.
But while big brands can afford to take a major gamble on an untested market, smaller businesses cannot do the same. However, with the introduction and growth of virtual infrastructures, businesses can operate in an efficiently connected, global environment. It is now possible to rapidly and meticulously create a physical or virtual local presence with a more manageable investment. Better still, social media-targeted advertising and cloud-based CRM solutions make it possible to fully capitalize on highly localized market dynamics to find and service customers.
Customer service you can count on – anytime, anywhere
You wouldn’t launch a restaurant without a waitstaff or a store without a point-of-sale terminal. These are essential components for making those businesses work. So why would any business initiate new operations without the ability to properly establish and maintain customer relationships, an essential element for every organization?
By relying on centralized global applications for communications, information and process management, enterprises can greatly reduce the barriers to a successful deployment to new local markets. Email, CRM and telephony are just some of the cloud-powered solutions that make it all possible. With the right solutions in place, businesses can quickly expand with a complete system and process support, allowing them to forget about the barriers and focus on the new markets they wish to serve.