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 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. 

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