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Business internationalization: the importance of foreign markets
Foreign markets represent a tremendous opportunity for the companies who wish to grow and expand their business. Business internationalization cannot be improvised from one day to the next, but requires a studying phase, and also planning and management of new processes.
Companies that decide to take on this challenge and enter foreign markets often find fertile ground in Europe, thanks to globalization-oriented economic policies. So let’s find out how internationalization can give Italian companies an edge.
Why you should internationalize your company
In an increasingly globalized world, offering products and services only within the national market can be reductive and limiting. Expanding the business to foreign customers allows the company to grow rapidly, without making major changes in the production cycle.
When the geographic market of reference is expanded, the company’s turnover grows and the improvement of cash flow allows investments to be made in strategic business areas.
Companies that choose to enter foreign markets, for example, have the opportunity to invest in innovation and become more competitive in their sector. Modernizing the enterprise can really become a great competitive advantage over competitors.
Internationalizing the company does not only mean finding new customers beyond the national borders, but also creating new partnerships and using foreign suppliers. This strategic networking helps to improve operating costs and cut expenses.
The Opportunities of Internationalization in Europe
In order to internationalize a company, it is not necessarily necessary to look to Asian or American markets. Made in Italy is recognized as an excellence even in Europe, where there is always great interest in the innovative capacity and creativity of Italian companies.
The European Union, with its economic and support policies, promotes internationalization, with particular attention to small and medium-sized enterprises, which in Italy represent 99% of the productive fabric.
Sometimes foreign markets represent too difficult a challenge for smaller companies, which tend to forego this opportunity for fear of not succeeding. This is why the Ministry of Economic Development has put in place a series of measures to provide concrete support to companies that choose to expand in Europe.
The aid offered at institutional level can be of various types:
- Funding to carry out feasibility studies, which are essential to understand whether or not investing in foreign markets is convenient for the company;
- Creation of a strategy for entering the foreign market, with the creation of support structures located throughout the territory, such as offices or showrooms;
- Technical assistance aimed at training personnel located locally;
- Promotion strategies that allow to acquire visibility abroad, with the participation in events, exhibitions and trade fairs;
- Financing for the capitalization of companies, in order to maintain or improve the necessary patrimonial solidity.
The First Steps Towards Company Internationalization
The problems that small and medium-sized enterprises face on the path to internationalization can be summarized in 3 main points:
- Lack of a promotion strategy;
- Lack of economic resources
- High costs for gathering information and reorganizing the company.
The first step to overcome these difficulties is always information, which all too often fails to reach companies that want to expand abroad. There are a number of active programs to support internationalization, but entrepreneurs are not aware of them and believe that they must face this uphill path alone.
Once the information gap has been overcome, it is time to take action, thanks to the support of a strategic figure: the Temporary Expert Manager. Thanks to his skills and experience, he will guide the company through the various phases of the internationalization process.
From the preliminary analysis to the definition of the business plan, from the training program to the creation of a valid database of contacts, each of these strategic steps will be taken care of in detail and the entrepreneur will be supported all along the way, without ever feeling alone.