From skipping vital research to using the same strategy twice, here are the top things to avoid when it comes to entering a new market
Entering a new market can unlock many doors for businesses, from tapping into new talent pools and consumer preferences, to adapting to changing industry trends. It’s a great business move – but it’s no easy feat.
Over recent years, Laundryheap has expanded into new markets across the world. The process underscored the vital importance of tailoring your strategy, product and launch to the specific market conditions you’re likely to encounter. Here are four mistakes to avoid:
Scrimping on market research
Thorough competitive analysis of your chosen market is essential if you want to hit the ground running. Research your market’s government regulations, economic conditions, and competitors. Has anyone from your current market made this move before? Did it fail or succeed? Why?
Additionally, make sure to keep an eye on market projections – even downturns can provide your business with new opportunities, creating more space for innovation, new recruitment strategies and shifting the balance of negotiating power (particularly with suppliers). During the height of the pandemic, our Laundryheap team experienced a spike in demand due to our covid-safe washing services, which encouraged us to go even further in certain markets via the implementation of contactless delivery options and delivery route optimisation technology.
On a similar note, don’t forget to adjust your product to its new environment, particularly factoring in the preferences of your new consumers. Any groundwork you put in now will pay off in the long-run.
It can be hard for small businesses and startups to successfully enter new markets – so don’t discount the prospect of joining forces with others. Make the most out of insights, research, and resources from companies that are already established in your chosen market, or that have aligned objectives.
Partnering with complementary businesses in your sector can greatly boost your position. When Laundryheap expanded into the hotel sector, we partnered with industry leaders, including Blueground, Holiday Inn, and Point A Hotels, which gave us access to new audiences and distribution channels for our services.
Having vague markers for success or failure
Don’t enter a new market with a casual attitude. Be clear on how your team will measure success and failure within the first 6 months of your entry. Avoid fluffy targets that can’t be accurately measured or that aren’t tightly linked with your forecasts.
Before you enter a new market, make sure you have an accessible exit strategy in case of failure. If it transpires that market withdrawal is your only option, you’ll need to have plans in place to minimise the impact on your established business. Hope for success, but prepare for any possible outcome.
Assuming your current strategy will suit your new market
In a new market, you’re effectively starting from scratch. Make sure to create a business plan that acknowledges your new customers, competitors, and the market’s standard rules of practice.
Keep an ear to the ground and stay updated on the latest fluctuations and developments in your new market (and relevant competitors). Understanding market behaviours and consumer patterns will enable you to constantly adapt and refine your strategy.
After a few months, your success markers will begin to reflect how well you’re adapting to your new market. If you’re struggling to meet your targets, don’t hesitate to re-evaluate and switch strategies; you should have plan B ready to go at a moment’s notice.