Three questions to ask when you’re identifying your next growth market

Being in a position to scale your business in a new international market is a huge achievement. But it doesn’t come without its challenges

Three questions to ask when you’re identifying your next growth market

For some companies, choosing where to launch next will be an obvious choice. But for others, choosing your next strategic launch can be a tricky decision.

No two markets are the same so when you’re looking to expand into new international markets it’s essential to do your due diligence and adapt your approach. 

Over the past nine years, we’ve expanded Laundryheap into 21 cities in 11 countries. To help you streamline your thinking on your international growth, here are the first three questions we ask ourselves when we’re looking at new regions.

What regulatory considerations will I need to make?

One of the trickiest parts of entering a new market is navigating local regulatory frameworks, laws, and standards. This includes things like employment, tax, and consumer protection regulations. Often, it’s practical considerations like these that might make one market a more commercially viable opportunity than another. As failing to get these right can lead to significant setbacks and even legal issues, so it’s crucial to start thinking about them early on. Look into your prospective competitors and what issues they have faced. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other businesses that have recently moved into the market and ask them about their experience, too.

Once you know what regulatory requirements you must meet, there are a number of ways to get there. Think about whether you need a team on the ground in the new location. You might want to relocate some of your existing employees, even if it’s just temporarily while you find your feet. In some cases, it’s worth working with local service providers to help you get your head around the rules and keep you across any changes going forward.

How would I communicate in this new market?

Mastering communication preferences in any new market is crucial, especially when you’re a new player trying to cut through competitive noise. Think about how, when, and where you would best reach your target audience. Are they more responsive to formal or informal language? Do they prefer direct or indirect communication styles? What is their most widely used social media platform? First impressions are lasting impressions, so tailoring your strategy from the outset is key. If you don’t have the expertise or infrastructure to communicate effectively in a prospective new market, it’s worth considering whether it’s the right market for you.

Another important consideration to make here is whether your branding and tone of voice work in the new language and context. You’ll find it much easier to tweak these before you’re in the market than scrambling to change them later after they fall flat. It’s a good idea to get input from experts here, as communication preferences tend to be nuanced and ever-changing. 

What are the local trends I need to be across?

Understanding what’s happening on the ground will help you drive organic and meaningful brand engagement. Tapping into regional trends is a great way to show new customers you care about their values. The best way to familiarise yourself with the place you’re considering expanding into is simply by spending time there. This will also allow you to conduct invaluable market research and engage with your would-be competitors first-hand. 

Make sure you understand the current local economic conditions, as well as the projections going forward. Look into social movements and sustainability initiatives in prospective markets to see which align with your product or service. For example, one territory might care most about environmental impact, while another prioritises locally made products.  

Write a list of what it is about your brand that will appeal specifically to your new audience and make sure you put these things at the front and centre of your expansion strategy. There might be an opportunity to make small adjustments now that will pay off big time in the long run. This also gives you a chance to fix anything that might be misconstrued or misunderstood about your brand in the new context.

Venturing into a fresh market is an exciting and rewarding challenge. While you can’t plan for every bump in the road, the more research you do early on, the more your future self will thank you for making the best choice about where to grow your business next. Anticipating hurdles and potential risks early will give you more time to manage and mitigate them, allowing you extra bandwidth to set yourself up for success as you scale.

Deyan Dimitrov
Deyan Dimitrov

Share via
Copy link