Key metrics to help measure global business performance

 

 

 

At a time when more small businesses are competing in overseas markets, it’s important to have data that can provide the insights you need to do more business and outperform the competition. That means focussing on certain key metrics. Your business will naturally perform better in different markets, so it’s important to know where and why that is. It’ll help you develop your offerings, positioning and pricing strategy to optimise sales in each marketplace.  

From customer acquisition and retention rates, to lifetime value and ROI, there are key indicators that can help you discover where to direct more of your resources in order to maximise business benefit. If you’ve already cracked the domestic market, then you should have an idea of what to look out for, but be aware that the same rules won’t necessarily apply in foreign markets. Here are a few tips on what to look out for. 

 

 

Guesstimates 

 

Firstly, before setting foot in new global territories, you should already have an idea of what you want to achieve in terms of sales. Start by putting a basic plan together for each market. Your estimates in terms of picking up new business and sales will give you some form of reference point to go on. If you’re performing more poorly than expected, you need to find out why. That means looking at other key indicators. On the other hand, if you’re performing better than expected in certain markets – great! But, still investigate why that is and if you can put those learnings to work in other regional markets.  

 

 

Analyse everything 

 

Every market is unique and different factors can influence how well you do in each marketplace. The challenge is finding out what those differentiating factors are. That’s not easy, so you have to look at every statistic available to you for clues. For example, if your business relies on an app, use this as a point of reference, measuring install and uninstall rates to calculate customer acquisition and retention. After that, you need to consider the context in which installs/uninstalls are happening. For instance, is there a low take up of mobile devices and Smartphones in certain countries? Are certain customers more content to buy online via computer? If so, direct your marketing efforts into that Point-Of-Sale. The learning here is to investigate every angle. 

 

 

Speak to an expert 

 

Of course, one of the best ways to learn about regional differences is to talk to an expert. And there are fewer more qualified than your customers. Ask for feedback as to what you could be doing better, with regards to your product range, as well as how customers prefer to buy. The results could be really enlightening. A regional expert that knows your niche could also offer insights in terms of culture and purchasing drivers that can help you do better in a specific marketplace.  

 

 

Look at what your competitors are doing 

 

Before entering any new market, it’s a good idea to check out the competition. Clearly, they could have a huge impact on your success in that market. Examine what they’re doing well and what’s not working out for them. More importantly, look at how you can benefit from their mistakes. Can you tailor your offering in a way that makes it more attractive to the market? One vitally important benchmark here is pricing. Can you beat them on price, even in the short term, to steal market share and then focus on customer service to hold on to that new business?  

Measuring, interpreting and testing data should be a key part of every business strategy. By setting clear goals for international markets and always going back to them in order to review and fine-tune them, you’ll find that you will do better and grow your overseas business.  

Five reasons to take your business global

 

 

 

It’s not until entrepreneurs begin to make the move from selling domestically to selling internationally that they realised what they’ve been missing. Today, new technology means it has never been easier or more cost-effective for a small business to expand into global markets.  

Here are the five main advantages, companies can gain by making the move to expand internationally: 

 

 

Increase your customer base 

 

It might seem obvious but making the move from a domestic market to an international one is a sure-fire way to ensure that your business is exposed to millions of new customers. Hopefully, your product or service will be in demand and provide a much-needed solution in these new territories 

 

 

It’s time to expand 

 

Apart from finding new customers, there’s another very good reason to expand into foreign markets. And that’s if you feel that you’ve already saturated your main market. If you’ve run out of targets in your domestic market, then the natural thing to do is look for new ones in markets overseas. That way, your business – and your profits – can continue to grow 

As an added benefit, expansion into new foreign markets means diversification which can reduce risk, especially if something unexpected happens to business in your domestic market – you’ll still have your overseas business to fall back on. 

 

 

Gain a competitive edge 

 

Most businesses have competitors in the domestic market. If that’s the case for your business, then you could actually do better in overseas markets where there might be less competition. More importantly, move into a foreign market before your rivals do and you’ll secure a foothold, making it much more difficult for them to gain market share further down the road 

What’s more, when you start selling overseas, you may reveal learnings and insights that you can apply in your home market for greater success. Regardless, the increased revenues for operating globally could boost your bottom line to the extent that you’ll be able to afford to invest in marketing and advertising back home – in order to steal further market share from your rivals.  

 

 

Economies of scale 

 

When you make the transition to creating product for one market to many, it won’t be long until you discover that you need a lot more product. This means you can buy in bulk and benefit from economies of scale. As the per unit manufacturing cost falls, profit margins rise. You may even be able to benefit from sourcing cheaper materials and labour in some overseas markets, cutting operational costs further. You can then pass these savings onto the customer to undercut competitors, or create a cash pile for further investment in the business.  

 

 

Seasonal ebb and flow 

 

If your business does better at certain times of year due to seasonal ebb and flow, then you might be able to pick up extra business overseas when business is slow at home. This is worth researching, as you can then divert your marketing budget in order to focus on those regions where it’s possible to gain the most advantage.  

In addition to this, you may discover ways of tailoring your offering in order to create increased demand and new revenue streams in certain overseas territories at different times of the year. 

 

 

Get the tools for success in overseas markets 

 

Of course, to really benefit from doing business globally, you need the capacity to take payments from overseas – and in different currencies. As a global payments provider, KoalaPays allows you to do business in more than 20 currencies at once in countries all over the world. We also have designed our services with business customers in mind, offering the tools you need to expand into overseas markets and full flexibility of your account. If you’d like us to help you succeed with your international expansion, please get in touch with our team today! 

Five tools to help your business expand into overseas markets

 

 

Taking a local business onto the international stage may seem daunting but if you have the right business model and the will, the technology is there to help you make it happen. New technology means that more local businesses are making the move into overseas markets and, as a result, their enterprises are growing exponentially. Here are a few of the tools and apps out there that can help even the smallest business succeed globally. 

 

 

Google it 

 Before expanding into any market, it’s important to do your research. It might seem obvious, but here, Google is your friend, or to be more specific, Google Analytics, Google Trends and Google Market Finder 

Google Analytics is incredibly useful when it comes to tracking where your visitors are coming from. If you see a high proportion of visitors from a specific region, then this could give you more than a few clues for your next sales destination. Likewise, Google Trends is handy for discovering locations where there might be demand for your product or service.  

With Google Market Finder, you can translate keywords and phrases for your business across a number of languages. This can offer valuable insights when putting together a financial plan for overseas expansion. 

 

 

Connect to new markets 

 As a business owner, you’re already aware of the importance of having local expertise in your local marketplace. This is just as important when you’re looking at overseas markets. Social networking platforms such as LinkedIn give you the opportunity to reach out in the markets that interest you and get introduced to people who may be able to help you in your efforts. Who knows? You might even find your next star employee to help you break into that new market. 

 

 

Update your systems  

 Operating in foreign markets can be very different than your existing domestic market. It’s important to understand the legal considerations of exporting, importing or working with an overseas partner. Market Access Map is a tool that can give you insights into international trade by increasing the transparency of market access conditions worldwide.  

Along the way, you’ll probably discover that the same accounting and tax regimes probably won’t apply, so it’s important that you update your existing financial software to be compatible for your new markets. 

 

 

Choose the right platforms 

 When you’re selling into overseas markets, there isn’t just language differences to deal with, there are cultural differences to deal with too. Like at home, customer service will be vital to the success of your overseas operations, so choose a CRM platform that updates across global boundaries. 

The same will apply to your website or e-commerce platform you use. One that meets the needs of the local market may not be fit for purpose when it comes to overseas markets, so it’s important to do your research and find one that’s best for your business model and can adapt to cater to new foreign marketplaces.  

If you can’t afford to translate your website into a number of different languages, then it might be best to keep it in an international language such as English, adapting the copy to make it as short and as simple as possible. As you see which markets you do best in, you can consider creating a standalone website later on, designed especially for that market.  

 

 

Use KoalaPays 

 You’ll also discover that customers in various countries prefer to pay in different ways, so it’s important to give your customers as many payment options as possible in order to maximise your sales.  

KoalaPays account can help with this as it’s compatible with a full range of payment methods. Furthermore, since you can accept payments and hold individual currencies in separate sub-accounts, you aren’t subject to charges for every payment you receive from a business partner. And, when you do want to convert to another currency, you won’t be charged excessive fees or have to deal with poor exchange rates.  

That’s just one of the ways KoalaPays demonstrates that we’re on your side when it comes to helping you do business overseas. 

Five innovative ways to grow your small business

 

 

Starting a business is daunting. There’re no guarantees and, if you haven’t run your own business before, you’re in for a steep learning curve. However, once you’re up-and-running and you’re confident that your business model is working, the next thing is to consolidate your work to date and plan for further growth. Here are five strategies proven to work when it comes to taking your business to the next stage of its evolution: 

 

 

Understand your customers 

 

Winning customers is only the beginning. Once you have them on-board, it’s all about keeping them there. Doing that, means finding out more about who they are and what they want, so you can learn to service them better and sell more. There are many ways to do this throughout the customer journey. It can be as simple as offering a feedback form or a survey. Look at the best ways to gain insights that can help you do better, both when it comes to existing sales and acquiring new customers.  

Your customers can also help with your marketing efforts, by recommending you to others, providing a testimonial, or just by leaving comments on a review site so make sure that you have a mechanism for asking them to do that. 

At the same time, make sure you focus on customer service. Exceptional customer service is one way of guaranteeing business growth. 

 

 

Leverage the power of social media 

 

Creating an online community is one way of getting your message and your brand out there. Social media doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Simply start with a business profile on a platform such as Facebook and direct your customers there for news, special offers, or even a discount. You don’t have to post every day but try to create a schedule to keep customers and potential new business checking in from time to time.  

Social media isn’t just a great way to engage customers and showcase your expertise, it’s also where you can find out more about your customers and get insights that can help with your sales strategy. 

 

 

Bring in new talent 

 

Now that you’re up-and-running and making a profit, think about what expertise you need to bring on board to increase your revenues. This isn’t just about people, it could be technology or software you bring in to increase efficiency and drive sales. For instance, opening an account with a payment service provider such as KoalaPays, would allow you to choose from a variety of services to suit your specific needs. 

Don’t forget the staff you already have with you. Look at how you can develop them and generate more productivity and value for your business while keeping them happy and engaged. Make sure they know that you value their contribution. Remember, the way you treat your employees will be reflected in the way you treat your customers – which, in turn, will impact your bottom line and your plans for growth. 

An alternative way of bringing in expertise is to form partnerships with other businesses that can bring something extra to the table.  

 

 

Develop new revenue streams 

 

This one might seem obvious but until your business is established and you’re able to understand your market better (see ‘understand your customers’), you don’t know for sure what products or services you should be offering, or what add-on extras might create new revenue streams for youThis might be a completely new service or a new version of product, an innovative pricing model, or even passive income from ads. Ask your customers what they’d like to see and don’t be afraid to experiment 

 

 

Measure and react 

 

Which brings us nicely to our final tip – metrics. If you don’t measure and track successes (as well as failures), you won’t be able to hone your business strategy for growth. Look at what is working well and what isn’t. Examine the reasons why and put together an action plan for better results. Likewise, if something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to let it go. Focussing on the areas which are delivering results is a no-brainer when it comes to growing your business. 

Finally, continue to research and identify possible opportunities for growth. If you see something that interests you, update your business plan and your forecasts before taking action. Make sure the initiative is viable and your business can handle any potential outcome, whether that’s good or bad. 

Growing your business isn’t easy. It takes time and effort, but if your business model is good, and you plan for every situation, you can use these strategies to your advantage and take your business to the next stage of its development. 

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