It’s no secret venturing into international waters can be daunting. A new market brings an entirely new set of challenges, however with this, comes a fantastic return when executed correctly.
With a strong foothold in New Zealand for my online fitness platform, DediKate, a real opportunity to “jump in the pond” and expand my business into a similar market became apparent. With low barriers to entry and a thriving economy, Australia was extremely enticing.
However, despite evident similarities, I was taught a number of lessons along the way. Here are five key learnings I had from expanding my business to international waters.
1. Size does matter
Jumping into a larger pool of fish can have its benefits. However, it also means a much larger investment in advertising spend, and many more people to get to know. Being so vast, we had to ensure our business strategy for Australia was airtight and could be applied both to the residents in major cities, as well as the farming communities across the country.
2. Keeping it relatable will become much more challenging
Creating personalised content will become a whole lot more difficult, as your owned channels will be exposed to much wider audiences. As time differences become a major player, we’ve had to think strategically about what we post and when, as this now needs to apply to both markets. Our live workouts for example became a particular challenge, as we had to choose times that would suit both markets, as well as our local trainers.
3. Prepare to re-build your business
You’ll likely feel a little deja vu when entering a new market as if you’re starting from scratch. However, this time, you’ll have experience behind you. As any stranger entering a market, you’ll once again need to create legitimacy and trust with your potential customers. Look at how you can utilise local ambassadors and brands to help strengthen your place in the market.
4. Learn who’s who, and work with it
It’s important to think carefully about who you align with. Who are the brands and people that can help strengthen your entry? What are people writing about them? Who are the competitors in your space? After careful research, DediKate ambassadors such as Kerry Edwards, Sophie Dilman, Netballer Nat Medhurst and Olympian Madii Hembury were identified and proved to be super beneficial in creating brand legitimacy given they are local Aussie talent.
5. Read the news
As I entered the market, Australia was dominated by news on the beginning of the Olympics, as well as a major COVID-19 outbreak on the east coast. With this, I had to think strategically about what I did next, as I could have easily faded into the background. As an online platform, our team were able to leverage the thousands of people working from home, providing them with an outlet that was both relatable, achievable and gave them an opportunity to connect.