Common Misconceptions When Going Global – Part 2
Growing your business on global scale can be exciting and daunting at the same time. And if you’re new to taking things international, chances are you have a few misconceptions.
In part 1, we divided the most common misconceptions when going global into two categories and took a deep dive into one of them – the overachiever.
In part 2 of this mini-series, we’re going to explore the most common misconceptions of the second category – those who play it small. I’m sure many of you can identify with at least one of these.
So, let’s take a look!
Misconception #1: Global growth is only for the big players
This is a misconception I see quite a lot. Solopreneurs or small businesses don’t even consider entering new markets because they believe it’s something only big companies can do.
Why is that?
For starters, as a solopreneur you simply might not know what going global entails, and just assume that it’s too much. With everything else going on in your business already, you probably don’t see it as realistic on top of everything else.
What’s more, marketing agencies who help businesses market their products across borders simply don’t have solopreneurs or small businesses on their radars. They’re trying to catch bigger fish.
As a result, solopreneur businesses never learn the tools and strategies they need to actually take their business global.
And that’s a real shame, because solopreneurs pour their whole hearts into their wonderful businesses, have high standards and great values – and I think we need more of that in the world.
(By the way: that’s exactly why I’m on a mission to specifically help solopreneur businesses).
Misconception #2: Who am I to think I could be internationally successful?!
Some people believe international success is simply not in store for them.
They might even be afraid of being internationally successful.
“What will people think?”
“My mother is probably going to say I’ve finally gone completely crazy.”
Or: “What if I fail? How embarrassing would that be? No, better not to even think about it.”
They are used to running their business on a small scale and don’t want to look as if they’re reaching for the stars and wanting too much.
They’re usually very humble, which is a great personal quality – but that’s probably precisely the reason why they won’t be able to scale their business and create the life of their dreams around it.
I’m here to tell you you can reach for the stars. Your solopreneur business can be just as successful as any other larger business is. And you absolutely deserve this.
All you need is a proper strategy to follow – and someone who can teach you that strategy, so that you don’t have to figure things out on your own.
(On that note, maybe my 1:1 coaching program is for you. Why not hop on a free discovery call?)
Misconception #3: My personality will get lost in translation
Your personal brand is the backbone and the very essence of your solopreneur business. It’s not something that can simply be copied to another country in another language. That’s just not possible.
Sound like you?
I get it. We put so much energy into creating our personal brand and being authentic. And our personality is the competitive edge we need as solopreneurs.
The only problem with this is your business will always be very dependent on you as a person.
The possibility for growth will therefore always be limited to the input you’re able to provide. And chances are it won’t give you the flexibility and the freedom you actually wanted when you started your business in the first place.
To be able to scale your business, you have to trust others to do a good job when working in and on it.
And, if you’re concerned about losing your own voice when going global, I have some good news for you: the language professionals out there are specifically trained to get your message across precisely the way you intended it.
That’s why they will ask you for very detailed briefings on your brand, your values, mission, target audience and more. So, to protect your personal brand and make it shine in another language, take the time to sit down with your translators to get really clear on these things before you get started.
Misconception #4: Going global is too expensive
Well, it is all a matter of perspective.
What is expensive? How much are you willing to invest to make your products accessible in another country and language? And potentially multiply your earnings?
Also, keep in mind you don’t have to transfer your entire business into another language at once.
You can take it step by step, and simply start with the most important thing: your website (your point of sale). That way, you can start making sales in your new market before thinking about Facebook campaigns, newsletters or social media.
That being said, the initial cost for getting your international business off the ground is moderate. Getting your website and online shop translated into the language of your new target market will probably cost as much as it cost you to get the original copy done.
And that’s great value for money, considering you will now be able to offer your products to a whole new market with hundreds and thousands of new potential customers.
Misconception #5: More markets mean more work for me
Another reason why many solopreneurs and small business owners hesitate to enter new markets is they believe it will require them to work more. The general notion seems to be that serving two markets instead of one automatically means twice the workload.
If this belief applies to you too, then keep reading my friend, because that’s actually not the case.
Most tasks directly related to offering your products in another market and language:
- either must be outsourced (e. g. translation), or
- can be outsourced (e. g. setting up your website in another language).
And if your business is in the process of growing, outsourcing is always a good idea. Especially if you’re a solopreneur. After all, burn-out and night shifts are not what we signed up for when we started our businesses, right?
The only moment where you’re required to invest extra time and effort is when you set out your overall global marketing strategy. To plan and strategize about what your goal is, what your target market is, who your ideal new customer is, and so on.
As soon as you have that strategy in place, you can start outsourcing the tasks to put that strategy into action.
That means your additional workload is in fact very limited – a pretty good trade off considering the potential growth going global will give you.
And that’s the beauty of scaling your business by entering new markets.
Misconception #6: I don’t speak another language, so I can’t go global
Another very common misconception when going global is believing you can’t enter markets with another language if you don’t speak that language.
That’s probably one of the reasons why many English-native small businesses only dare to enter other English-native markets, even though those might not be the ideal target market at all. They don’t even consider looking beyond the language barrier.
I get it. Offering your stuff to people you can’t communicate with directly can seem a little scary.
But remember, you’ll have great language support by your side. As well as translators, it will probably be necessary to get a virtual assistant or similar, who can deal with client mail. But that’s about it.
Plus, if you’re open about the fact that you’re a business from the UK, the US or any other English-speaking country, your new customers will understand. It can even add a touch of exclusivity to your brand and increase demand further. (If I were you, I’d really brag about coming from abroad).
I promise: Nobody expects you to be a language expert when going global. It’s not a requirement or skill you need to have to be “allowed” to enter other lucrative markets.
You’re free to choose in which direction (or in which market) your business should grow, and then simply need to take the action required to make it happen.
Going beyond your domestic market to scale your business is a smart move. However, there are many misconceptions floating around about this topic.
Some of those misconceptions might make you want too much at once and neglect the needs of your customers. Which is a fast track to failure.
Others will prevent you from growing your business globally at all, because they make you believe this type of success isn’t possible for you.
In any case, they’re all misconceptions, which means they’re not true.
With the right marketing strategy any business owner, no matter how small their business, can achieve international success – and create the independent and flexible life they always dreamed of.
By the way: if you want help building your marketing strategy for the German market (the most lucrative market in Europe), book a free discovery call.