International business can be both a thrilling adventure and a ruthless trial. This is particularly true for new entrepreneurs trying to pierce into lucrative markets overseas. Your ambitions and the inspiration from the success of predecessors can drive you to realize your dreams. However, while the experiences you will gain from such an endeavour will define you as a businessperson and as an individual, they are not without challenges.
To help you manage your business on a global scale, we gathered valuable advice from successful CEOs including: Jeff Bezos – founder, chairman, CEO and president of Amazon.com, Richard Branson – founder of the Virgin Group, Warren Buffett, the “Oracle of Omaha” – one of the most respected businessmen in the world, and Elon Musk, mastermind entrepreneur behind companies like Tesla Inc., SpaceX and co-founder of PayPal.
Jeff Bezos – Focus on the customer
Bezos is adamant about this: “The most important thing is to be customer-obsessed. Figure out how to absolutely delight them.” This advice goes a long way when you’re reaching for foreign markets. You may know what your neighbours like, what’s trending in your city, or the tendencies of your country. However, if you’re going abroad, it is crucial to study exactly what your audience is like, their interests and passions, and how to make them feel special.
Amazon delivers all around the world, but the delivery process at Amazon Germany is not the same as for Amazon UK. The approach even changes drastically between the US and Canada. Take time to learn about your intended audience, and if you need a little coup-de-pouce, Accultra can help!
Richard Branson – Hire your weaknesses
“I’m quite involved in hiring for leadership, and I look to hire my weaknesses,” explains Branson. You aren’t perfect; nobody is. You could be proficient in technology, but lack in public speaking. You could be a beacon of creativity but need better financial management. Look at yourself, recognize your weaknesses and find the right people to support you.
This is especially true if you’re launching your business internationally. You may be a fantastic entrepreneur in your local comfort zone. But when expanding abroad, your knowledge may not apply as efficiently in another country. You should seek out the right individuals to fill your voids in a different setting. Seek out those who know how things work in a foreign environment and implement their strengths to achieve your goals.
Warren Buffett – Learn from your idols
Berkshire Hathaway‘s CEO insists: “Just pick out the person you admire the most and sit down and write out the reasons why you admire them.” We all look up to someone – someone wealthy, charismatic and successful. This list covers some of the most basic tenets that you’ll need to adapt when you launch your enterprise.
The most important step, on the other hand, you will have to research yourself. Look up the most successful person that you admire and learn how to implement the qualities they have into your own venture. Seek out what made their fortune and apply these qualities to yourself. Do not shy away from professional training!
Elon Musk – Create your trend
Musk urges you not to follow what has already been done, but think outside of the box and create something new of your own. “Don’t just follow the trend,” he says. Whether your business is local or international, if you try to play someone else’s game – you’ve already lost.
Create your own trend, be an innovator and focus on quality. Study your market, see what has been done before and, based on what the target audience likes, innovate! Be prepared to fail. But also seek out the opportunities to learn and come back with something even better.