If you have come up with an innovative idea and you want it to be a success, there is no time to waste. The market is very dynamic and the competition never sleeps. Therefore, even a slight delay or a mistake may nip your idea in the bud. If you want to move forward, you need to be quick and overcome obstacles with confidence. Last but not least, you must rapidly internationalize your idea.
Learning from your own mistakes will certainly help in gaining market experience. Sometimes, however, there is not enough time for this process. In the case of startups, every day counts: failure to reach potential consumers or an inadequate patent protection can obliterate even the most brilliant idea before it hits the market – and in the case of innovative ideas, it should be the international market. You can start your business locally, but the local market must not be your ultimate goal, claim experts from the Bridge to MassChallenge Warsaw program, that is now accepting applications for the TOP CEE’s startup competition: bit.ly/B2MCW. They list 5 compelling reasons why it is worth making your startup an international affair.
- The local market is an ideal place in which to start your business. You are familiar with (or, at least, can easily understand) the economic reality, regulations in force and formal requirements, and you are aware of the mentality of your customers, which makes the launching of a business relatively easy. However, at some point – especially if you operate in a small country and in the B2B sector – the number of clients may no longer be satisfactory and you may realize that the market is too small.
- It may also be that the product you have created does not inspire much interest locally, but you have reasons to believe that customers in other countries will be interested in it. For example, in Poland, where digital revolution in health care is still not under way, telemedicine solutions are not selling. However, they may be of interest to clients in the United States. Similarly, smart city ideas will probably prove more successful in Spain than in Poland.
- You have reasons to believe that you will be able to capitalize on your experience in a market that will provide you with a higher profit margin. It is all about the economies of scale – you keep the costs at their current level while increasing the profitability of your business.
- You have created a B2B solution and operate within a market with few entities that you can sell your product to. A Polish entrepreneur who has developed tailor-made solutions for the energy sector and intends to operate in Poland will soon realize that the market is highly monopolized, leaving the new business with very limited growth possibilities.
- Other markets provide you with more development opportunities and, very often, legal solutions that are more beneficial for young entrepreneurs. A growing number of countries throughout the world are becoming increasingly aware of the potential of start-ups and their economic impact. In order to attract young entrepreneurs, many introduce solutions that facilitate doing business. For example, a special zone for blockchain start-ups has been created in Switzerland, where such businesses have greater development opportunities. In turn, UK regulators have put in place a fast regulatory pathway for fintech start-ups.
Now that you have seen it is worth expanding your business into foreign markets, you need to decide how to do it professionally. As a young entrepreneur you may not know where to begin your international expansion. There is nothing strange about it. You can, of course, analyse, test and learn from your own mistakes, but in many cases this strategy will prove calamitous. You can also turn to experienced mentors, who will guide you through the tricky process of scaling your business. The MassChallenge accelerator, which has just started operating in Central and Eastern Europe and is now is looking for start-up unicorns together with PKO Bank Polski, provides companies with the services of such business mentors.
Not only will our international experts support you in the process of entering foreign markets, but can also suggest in which country in particular you should start your business expansion. We will guide your start-up through the difficult initial stages, lead you through the local administrative and legal mazes and help you establish contacts with local entrepreneurs. This is the first milestone on your path towards international success.