05.09.18

3 tips for Scaling Your Startup Globally

KARL R. LAPAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, THE NIIC

Why is it less than 2% of all small businesses scale? I’d like to challenge the adage of “think global, act locally” and instead offer, “think global and act globally.” Do you have your sights set on expanding into the global market? Following are a few ways to scale your business model for the worldwide market:

Find the lowest common denominator.

Despite cultural differences, there are frequent needs. People need food, shelter, etc. Startups that successfully scale globally are those that offer innovative solutions to common problems. Facebook is a great example. It speaks to the universal need for human connection. Today, there are more than 2.2 billion users in numerous countries. Whatever you do, make sure the name, tagline, and logo resonate with a global audience and be willing to customize your product to your specific international market (Whirlpool does a great job of this in home appliances). For example, did you know “Gerber” means “vomit” in French? Not so appetizing for food, is it?

Don’t be afraid to take your time to scale.

It may be tempting to move fast and break stuff. After all, there’s always that fear that someone will steal your idea. A great example is Uber. The philosophy was to penetrate global markets and do so without hesitation. Within seven years of the inception of their venture, Uber was in more than 450 cities worldwide. But the company encountered some issues due to a lack of cultural insight, sensitivity and cultural literacy. They underestimated political and cultural forces, and its impact. They were eventually forced to close or dial back their operations in some countries.

Stay true to your core values.

Growth can fuel ego. But over-confidence can be a recipe for disaster. Don’t slack or cut corners. Don’t sacrifice quality to turn a quick profit.

As a global leader in innovation education, support and entrepreneurial services, The NIIC know a thing or two about scaling in overseas markets. High-performance companies ready to climb should know The NIIC offers a comprehensive set of time-tested and proven tools to accelerate your venture’s growth and development. We’ll work with you to carefully tailor and orchestrate the dimensions of excellence necessary to properly scale your business, and when the time is right, we’ll help you plan for further expansion or a business exit.

How can The NIIC engage with you to put you in the top 2% of all elite, high-performance companies in the US?

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