Is It Wise to Internationalize?

web-010-SiefenHansPeterDSC0458mMany companies try hard to increase their sales by expanding to new markets. Is it always wise? The answer is no, not always.

It is not always reasonable to expand to new markets. The growth might still be much easier in your own country or even just in your own town. That way you are usually able to keep the expenses on a lower level and it is easier to get more visibility in a smaller market – around your own corners.

Then again in some cases, internationalization really means going to the next level and a huge opportunity to increase your sales. You just need to consider and decide if it is really the right thing for you on this stage of your business. You shouldn’t do it just because it is cool.

On top of this you should also decide on how to internationalize. In most cases it is important to choose which countries, which cities and industries you concentrate on. There are different models of internationalization and different foreign market entry modes. Learning them might help you in making an internationalization plan for your company.

Depending on your product and business model, find out which internationalization model is the best for you. We at Nordic Business Forum have chosen the Uppsala model of internationalization, which means that we have first gained experience and momentum in our domestic market and then started our internationalization process from the nearest countries to Finland. In our case, there are two main reasons for this: the easier logistics for the customers nearest to Finland and the existing business relations between Finland and the neighboring countries.

For organizations with a big mission and ambition, there might also be additional reasons for internationalization on top of just money. As for us, we really want to be doing one of the most significant business seminars in the world by 2021. Our mission is to contribute to the entrepreneurial mindset and ecosystem. We really believe that intrapreneurship is the most important quality of an organization or any country. We want to spread this mission internationally. We also want to provide our seminar attendees a true international networking opportunity.

Internationalization starts with simple things. As Minister Alexander Stubb said at Nordic Business Forum 2013: ”speak English”. If you aim to go international, produce content in English as well! That is the only way to ever get any customers anywhere else than in your own country. I often wonder why some organizations and people don’t produce content in English – write their book in English – for example. Right now I’m thinking why Cheek hasn’t done a single song in English. I guess he still wants to concentrate on the domestic market. But he will never be international with Finnish songs. I bet he will try out some English ones soon as well. After all, he is already ruling the Finnish market so well. Congrats to Cheek for filling up the Olympic Stadium!


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