.10 lessons I’ve learned supporting companies while expanding to foreign markets

10 lessons i've learned supporting companies while expanding to foreign markets 🌎

Hey there, I’m a .captain of .out of spacetime, an agency helping companies sell internationally via local salespeople.Β So far, we have supported several tens of companies to launch their sales activities in foreign markets.


Below you’ll find my biggest learnings:


1. No matter how hard you try, the local guy will always come up with a better idea to sell πŸ’‘

With each customer, we always define the sales strategy first.

We also come up with ideas on how to approach the new market.

Then we confront them with the local sales guy.

They always come up with fresher insights and improve the strategy.

Simply, you cannot understand the market from your office


2. Never underestimate the time factor ⏳

It always looks simple.

It never is.

Each time, you need to experiment to succeed.

And experimentation takes time.

3. Cultural nuances matter 🌐

In Poland, the common approach is to reach out via phone.

In Italy, they’re looking at you as if you came from the previous century.

In Hungary, they want to chat a little and build relationships to sell.

In Germany? Good luck with that.

Never underestimate local differences.


4. Remember how hard you tried in the beginning of building a company? It’s here again πŸ’ͺ

Nobody knows you, nobody trusts you.

You have to build from scratch.

You have to test.

That’s the way to win the market.


5. Contracts, terms, and conditions. Always have your materials in the local language πŸ“

There’s nothing worse than winning a deal and then letting the company wait because you don’t have a local contract.

Ok, there are also worse things than that ☝️

Anyway, take a look at this list of things you should prepare before expansion.




6. Focus on output, not outcome 🎯

Sales come with time.

Focus on doing the right things the right way.

Focusing on activity will help you avoid frustration until the first sale.


7. Focus on low-hanging fruit 🍎

Identify your quick wins.

It will help you get first results faster (not fast).

And again, it will help you avoid frustration.


8. The learning curve is never-ending πŸ“š

Embrace continuous learning and improvement.

During each project, we always learn something new.

Every time.


9. Plan. But do not overplan πŸ“…

We’ve used different approaches based on the type of the client.

Sometimes it was pure punk.

Total freestyle in the spirit of “we’ll figure it out later”.

Sometimes every step was defined beforehand.

None of them was correct.

Never underestimate preparation and planning as you may burn a lot of money without it.

But never strategize 5 steps ahead as even the first step may be incorrect.


10. Choose the right country 🌎

You never know which market is the right one.

However, a little research may save you a lot of money.

Maybe you can start here and preselect 3 countries in 3 minutes.


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