Female Business Owners – It’s time to take on Global Markets!
What an exciting time to be in business! With women starting their own businesses in ever-increasing numbers, the realm of going global has become easier than ever before thanks to Covid-19.
Now, as I always recommend, due diligence is your first port of call when starting any business, or expanding into new markets. But what I think we all learned in 2020/21 is the tolerance that the world has for international business.
Opportunity for Entry to International Business is Open
Unfortunately, female-owned businesses were reported as the hardest hit by Covid-19 due to the fact that many were in industries that were required to close for lockdown, and female employees were also the hardest hit for the same reasons.
But when one door closes, another opens.
For those that kept their minds and hearts open, new industries and opportunities became the focus. The opportunities for startups and solopreneurs in Australia to go global became more realistic than ever before.
And whilst previously female-led small businesses generally focused on local or national markets, the advent of doing everything online instead of in-person enabled us all to start working globally, from the home office.
Being forced to work online meant that we all became quite comfortable with Zoom and Google Meet.
The economy saw a huge rise in online shopping and for those that were able to find a way – traditional face to face, in-person business models were able to morph into delivering products and services in new and exciting ways. If there is one strength that women possess in business, I believe it is our ability to successfully collaborate and develop joint ventures.
International opportunities for women lie in working together, aligning business functions, and in using complimentary services and delivery models to expose our businesses to a much larger market.
The Australian business landscape is slowly changing.
Australia is a country that is economically supported by the dominance of small businesses, with 34% of small business owners being women. What is exciting about Australian small businesses is that we lead the charge for being innovative when we collaborate with international partners. This means that we are open to sharing ideas and learning to benefit both parties.What is exciting about Australian small businesses is that we lead the charge for being innovative when we collaborate with international partners. #smallbizwomen Click To Tweet
In 2020 the market for manufacturing opened up and our interest in innovation saw a push for more women to be involved in STEM industries. And this means that these areas are more open to opportunity for you.
Personally, I will be very interested to see what statistics reveal happened in 2021 about the shift in business due to the pandemic.
A 2015 report conducted by the University of Melbourne shows us what your potential international partners might look like. While another report produced by the Wade Institute on Women in Entrepreneurship identified some of the biggest challenges we face as women.
High on the list were things like:
- Acquiring Customers
- Work-Life Balance
- Adopting Technology
- Financial Management
So, how can we win as women in business?
Collaboration can be instrumental in overcoming many of these challenges.
In fact, working with international partners creates an environment in which we have access to tools and support to help overcome the challenges women in business face.
International business gives you access to networks and groups in places you may not have previously considered. And you can leverage time zones and staff capacity which means that the normal 9-5 workday can become more flexible.
There is mutual learning through experience. Your experience will be different to those you work with internationally and this experience will provide you with the bridge you need to address differences.
Every interaction you have with someone outside of your immediate circle can teach you something valuable. And some of the most successful collaborations involve two professionals who bring two very different skill sets, perspectives, and strengths to the table.
“Whatever you do, be different. That was the advice my mother gave to me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.”— Anita Roddick
The Australian International Business Survey 2019 revealed that the predominant reason Australian businesses were not already working internationally is the difficulty in finding a partner.
Regardless of anything else in business, you can’t be the world’s best-kept secret – people have to know that you exist. That is why marketing is so important.
You want to stand out from the crowd – for all the right reasons. You want people to be able to find you. And you want to connect, with stakeholders and your ideal customers
Marketing Success Factors
In developing any marketing plan, you need core elements. So what are these four elements?
People are inundated with information thanks to the internet and global markets have also opened the doors to varying degrees of product and service value. Your target market needs to trust that you are a brand that delivers – and this trust has to be earned which takes time.
The customer that buys from you does so because you have a solution to their problem. This is true no matter where in the world you go. Your marketing must be solution-oriented and that means getting to know your customers very well – you need to speak their language.
For example, if you were to say to a client they need a funnel, and they don’t have a marketing background, they won’t understand that you are referring to a sales funnel. So keep your audience first and foremost in your mind.
A framework or plan is a way of ensuring that your messaging is consistently delivered and ensures that you are considering all the elements you need to develop an effective marketing strategy. This is a vital part of running a business and keeps you focused on your goal.
In anything you do in business, you should always consider how much room for growth you have. If you don’t make room to scale and grow your business, then how will it be managed when it becomes necessary? Prepare to start with 2-3 arms or channels of marketing, but consider how you will incorporate extending this out to 8-10 or more when your business and profit starts to grow.
This is one of the most important things to get right.
Language is vital – and I’m not just talking about good grammar. What are the common words used within your market?
Think about platforms, devices, and internet speed. What are you currently using and how can this be improved to in-turn improve your marketing efforts?
Political and Legal Requirements
You will all be aware that this can vary greatly from country to country – even local and state governments in Australia have their own rules for some industries.
Understanding and abiding by these rules is vital and this is important to consider in things such as your packaging, labelling, manufacturing processes, plus in the wording of your advertising, the images you use, and even how often you email people.
My belief and experience is that more and more women are seeking out fair and sustainable business practices that support a better environment and support other women in business. This gives you the opportunity to start building a network or sisterhood with likeminded women all around the world!
International Business is closer than ever!
International business is no longer the realm of large corporations. The world is literally at your fingertips if that is the path you choose.
And while there is nothing wrong with staying small and local, there is definitely something exciting about the possibilities that going international bring.
And by doing your research and understanding the way different countries do business and different markets expect services you will be able to create a marketing plan that will reach your target audience – no matter where they are.
My message to you is DON’T LET BORDERS STOP YOU!
If you want to go global but feel like you need some support, a Fempire Certified Coach may be just the thing you need! Click here to get in touch today about working with an expert Fempire Coach!
Samantha is a Fempire Coach and business leader who is dedicated to helping women to succeed as fempreneurs. She is a process-driven strategist who has visionary problem-solving skills and managed to raise a family of five children while running a successful business.