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The digital world has no borders. Is your small business ready to expand?

In today’s increasingly digital world, small businesses have the tools and solutions they need to not only survive but also thrive. 

Small and medium businesses are the backbone of economies worldwide. According to the Singapore Department of Statistic's SME Report 2022, small businesses made up 99% of all enterprises in our country. The numbers speak volumes about the resilience and potential of small businesses in today's landscape.

Even as small businesses are the engine of economic growth, the question arises: when is the right time for a small business to take the leap and expand globally? While the digital world has opened unprecedented opportunities, venturing into new markets requires preparation and strategic planning. Let's look at how small business owners can navigate this big step forward in this quick guide.

1. Evaluate market potential

Understanding the potential of a new market is critical before making any expansion plans. A good place to start is by looking at your digital channels to identify where your customers are coming from. If you notice significant traffic or interest from a specific country or region, it could be a sign of untapped potential.

Conduct surveys and gather feedback to better gauge this interest and sentiment in the new market. Understanding why customers are drawn to your products or services will help you to localise your messaging effectively. Additionally, invest time in researching cultural nuances to ensure your approach connects strongly with the target audience.

2. Get your timing right

As with many things in life, timing plays a crucial role in the success of any expansion plan. A business can evaluate expanding into new markets when it has reached a saturation point in the local market. If local opportunities for further growth seem very limited, it may be the right time to start looking at newer markets.

It also helps to assess whether your product or service addresses an urgent need in the new market. Fulfilling unmet demands is a great strategy for business success.

For instance, businesses that pivoted to offer contactless services in response to changing consumer behaviours have thrived. If your business can meet similar needs in a new market, it may be the right expansion opportunity to tap into.

3. Work out the details

Complying with regulations in a new market is essential for long-term success. It pays to familiarise yourself with permit requirements, tax structures, customs regulations and other regulatory considerations to ensure compliance. 

The next important step is to connect with your customers on the right channels. Leverage digital platforms and social media channels to reach and engage with your target audience cost-effectively.

With the majority of Asia Pacific businesses experiencing a surge in online customers, tapping into digital channels can be a game-changer for small businesses. Whether through social media marketing or live webinars, engaging directly with customers can foster brand loyalty and drive sales.

The journey to global expansion is both exciting and challenging for business owners. By carefully evaluating market potential, timing, and regulatory requirements, entrepreneurs can unlock new business opportunities. 

Business success is the result of adequate planning and strategic execution. As you prepare to take your business global, asking yourself the right questions can set you up for success. Discover more tools and guidance to grow your small business internationally on the FedEx Small Business Center.

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