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Guide to expanding your business internationally

Essential steps in going global

restrictions by governments on product testing and certification regulations makes global EXPANSION DAUNTING 

"To minimise the risk of exporting or setting up operations abroad, a structured, strategic approach is needed to ensure limited business resources produce maximum business results."

Monday, March 23, 2020


With loosening boundaries between global markets and increased cooperation in international trading, goods, services, people, capital and ideas are being exchanged at an unimaginable rate. There are benefits aplenty in going global, including but not limited to growth and diversification of revenue sources, larger market shares and increased brand presence. The concept of jumping headfirst into international expansion as a result of the incentives may be tempting, but businesses should be aware that there is a substantial level of risk involved in the process. In order to minimise the risk of exporting or setting up operations abroad, a structured, strategic approach is required to ensure limited business resources produce maximum business results.  

Reflect on your current business 

Ensure you have all owners and senior management on board the expansion plan, adequate team members from various departments including marketing and sales to support you, and the financial capacity to make a long-term commitment to the project. 

  • What is your financial capacity?
  • Do you have sufficient internal employees to support the plan?
  • Do you require the support of external human resources?
  • What product/service will you export?


Identify and evaluate your target market

Pinpoint the critical feature that will distinguish your product from its competition in the foreign market. Conduct sufficient market research on the local culture and customs, so that you will be ready to adapt and localise the product for the market. Being equipped with local insights will enable you to better understand local consumer behaviours, potential product interest and demand, purchasing power as well as to ensure you avoid making a cultural faux pas when dealing with local business partners. 

  • Which country or region will you sell your product/service in?
  • Who are the local competitors?
  • What are the local cultural implications that will affect your business decisions?
  • How responsive will the target market be to the product/service?


Understand conformity requirements of target country/region

Be aware of the regulations, product testing and certification requirements of target countries and regions that apply to your product. As manufacturers, you will need to overcome technical trade barriers that governments implement to start trading. This process can be complicated, time-consuming and costly, and if handled inaccurately, could potentially delay the time-to-market, rake up significant costs, and lead to the loss of competitive advantage for the business. 

  • What product regulations, testing and certifications requirements are there in the target market?
  • Which of these requirements apply to your specific product/service?
  • What are the procedures and documents required in your product certification application process?


Consolidate a market entry strategy plan

Define your objectives clearly so that you could formulate a plan that is aligned with your goals. Your strategic plan should include a budget outline, target markets, possible opportunities and risks, potential competitors, marketing and distribution channels, pricing, a localisation strategy pertaining to product packaging, labels, regulatory requirements, cultural preferences, amongst others, and a timeframe to achieve all of the above.

  • What is your proposed budget?
  • What is your target country/region for international expansion?
  • What are the potential opportunities and risks involved?
  • Who are your potential competitors?
  • What is your marketing, distribution and pricing strategy for the foreign market?
  • How are you going to localise your product/service to suit the foreign market?
  • What is your intended time-frame for the execution of the plan?


Find a compliance partner whom you can rely oN

Do you have an experienced compliance partner who can help you navigate complex, local regulations in the foreign market efficiently and effectively? 

Through TÜV SÜD’s 150 years of experience and capabilities, we have proven to be a competent third-party accreditation partner for enterprises looking into international expansion. We provide experts that understand each manufacturer’s unique approval requirements, helping to save time and resources throughout the entire process of bringing products to global markets.

Our Global Market Access (GMA) solution revolves around five aspects:

Governmental Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs)
TÜV SÜD is a designated conformity assessment body for a range of products globally, helping to negate the need for duplicative testing, inspection or calibration of goods upon entry into importing countries.

Third-Party Accredited Bodies
TÜV SÜD holds multiple accreditations by regulatory bodies around the world, which manufacturers can leverage as a stepping stone for a more expedient, formalised and structured approach in obtaining ISO certifications. 

Bilateral Agreements
TÜV SÜD has bilateral agreements with multiple certification agencies, including the Korea Testing Laboratory, Standards Institution of Israel and Communications Regulatory Committee (CRC), allowing us to gain approval or certifications from other Certification Bodies where required or requested. 

Multilateral Agreements
As a member of the CB Scheme, TÜV SÜD offers manufacturers and exporters opportunities for increased global marketability.

Interface with Regulators
TÜV SÜD is able to obtain the necessary approval and certification issued by the regulatory agency of the target region or country on behalf of manufacturers and exporters, in order to expedite the process.

Conclusion

International expansion may be daunting due to the navigation of complex restrictions that governments impose in the form of product testing and certification regulations. With our one-stop GMA solutions, TÜV SÜD is the ideal partner to consider when businesses are planning to enter foreign markets. To understand more about GMA and the approval process, access our E-Book for in-depth information on how we are willing and able to support you. In the event of doubt on whether you require the assistance of a professional GMA partner, try out this quiz to test your knowledge on GMA requirements and determine your next steps. 

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