That the world is a “global village” might sound cliché but many businesses that have positioned themselves to access the international market have found cross-border upscaling to be rewarding. The growing interconnectedness of the global economy presents upsides in the form of a boost in customer acquisition, enhanced business visibility, diversified revenue profile risks, and exponential growth in top-line for businesses expanding their footprint.
Within Africa alone, businesses as small as an online store run by a single owner from the comfort of their home can tap into a continental market of about $3.0 trillion powered by 1.3 billion consumers. Beyond the continent, the value to unlock is immense. Granted that cross-border expansion can enhance business performance, the process of growing in new markets could be daunting and even costly to businesses that lack the right expertise and support. Getting expansion right is important, and there are essential steps that must be considered to improve the likelihood of success.
The first step is to ensure that the product or offering fills a gap that exists in the markets of interest. The reason why businesses are successful is down to whether they solve problems that other people are willing to pay for. The market need of a place might differ from another. Before venturing out of the local market, it is therefore important to carry out adequate research or market analysis to confirm that an opportunity exists for the products in the proposed location. Based on the outcome of the investigation and to ensure a successful fit, it might become necessary to modify aspects of one’s products in line with the standards and consumer preferences of the specific market.
Regardless of the scale, the next step is to look inwards and audit the internal processes for areas that need to be improved to support an expanded operation outside the comfort of one’s local market. These adjustments could include enhancing the capabilities of business units to ramp up production, handle compliance issues, and implement bespoke market strategies. For smaller businesses with less complex operations and fewer workers, the process will likely require automating or digitising many aspects of the business to keep up with new demands from the international market.
Having completed the first two steps, one should be ready to get the ball rolling. Already, there is a great product and a wonderful team to create and sell them, but a critical challenge ahead might be logistics. Without proper logistical support, one might experience difficulties getting orders delivered to customers at the right pace, condition, and cost. The implications could be detrimental to business growth because the negative customer experience could result in damaging reviews, a low retention rate and poor sales.
Similarly, it could be the case that although delivery is timely, the cost of logistics to new markets is eroding business margins. To keep the business afloat, businesses would typically transfer the cost burden to customers but oftentimes, this move to increase prices in a globally competitive market ultimately hampers the product or brand appeal. These concerns lead to the third step businesses must take in upscaling to global markets: find the right logistics partners.
One of the trusted names with a proven record of supporting business growth is Terminal Africa, a software firm that facilitates both continental and global commerce through scalable technology-based solutions. Terminal Africa is an aggregator of logistics services that connect individuals and businesses, from micro-scale to large corporations, with trusted logistics services providers. With a customer base of 6,000+ businesses across diverse sectors, shipping goods worth over ₦1 billion monthly, Terminal Africa demonstrates the technical and operational expertise to handle complex local and international logistical challenges in partnership with the best solution providers in the industry such as DHL, Aramex, Kwik, Topship & GIG Logistics.
Businesses that are upscaling to new markets can leverage the competitive pricing on Terminal Africa. On average, shipment rates on Terminal Africa are at a discount of 30.0% compared to standard pricing. The benefit is that users can gain a pricing competitive advantage in their target markets since their logistic cost is lower.
Additionally, the Terminal Africa platform provides an avenue for users to compare shipping rates, arrange deliveries, generate labels, track shipments, and update their customers through a single online platform. These features make the processes of decision-making and risk management more efficient for businesses. The Terminal Africa platform not only offers a cost-saving solution for logistics but it is also backed by technology that is easy to use and integrate into any business process.
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