Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of economies worldwide. According to the Singapore Department of Statistics’ SME Report 2022, small businesses account for 99% of all enterprises in the country. These figures highlight the resilience and potential of small businesses in today’s economic landscape.

While small businesses drive economic growth, the question remains: when is the right time to expand globally? The digital world offers unprecedented opportunities, but entering new markets requires preparation and strategic planning. Here’s a quick guide to help small business owners navigate this significant step forward.

  1. Evaluate Market Potential

Before making any expansion plans, it’s crucial to understand the potential of a new market. Start by analyzing your digital channels to identify where your customers are coming from. If you notice significant traffic or interest from a specific country or region, this could indicate untapped potential.

Conduct surveys and gather feedback to gauge interest and sentiment in the new market. Understanding why customers are drawn to your products or services will help you localize your messaging effectively. Additionally, research cultural nuances to ensure your approach resonates with the target audience.

  1. Get Your Timing Right

Timing is critical to the success of any expansion plan. Consider expanding into new markets when your business has reached a saturation point locally. If local growth opportunities are limited, it might be time to explore new markets.

Assess whether your product or service addresses an urgent need in the new market. Meeting unmet demands is a strong strategy for success. For example, businesses that adapted to offer contactless services in response to changing consumer behaviors thrived. If your business can meet similar needs in a new market, it may be the right opportunity for expansion.

  1. Work Out the Details

Compliance with regulations in a new market is essential for long-term success. Familiarize yourself with permit requirements, tax structures, customs regulations, and other legal considerations to ensure compliance.

Next, connect with your customers through the right channels. Utilize digital platforms and social media to reach and engage with your target audience cost-effectively. With a surge in online customers across the Asia Pacific region, tapping into digital channels can be a game-changer for small businesses. Whether through social media marketing or live webinars, engaging directly with customers can foster brand loyalty and drive sales.

Global expansion is both exciting and challenging for business owners. By carefully evaluating market potential, timing, and regulatory requirements, entrepreneurs can unlock new business opportunities.

Success in business is the result of adequate planning and strategic execution. As you prepare to take your business global, asking the right questions will set you up for success. Discover more tools and guidance to grow your small business internationally on the FedEx Small Business Center.