Human and Physical Dimension
Understanding a target market’s geographic and environmental factors are fundamental to understanding its suitability. Just as important are the local language and communication patterns, customs, culture, and etiquette. In addition to the general human dimension, business-specific considerations (protocols, perceptions, relationship norms) contribute to an appreciation of the market.
Economic and Market Dimension
SMEs do not have the luxury to adapt products to appeal to overseas tastes and preferences. Finding a suitable market for your product – where the cost and nature match local demand – requires an understanding of the economic and market dimensions. This includes trade and currency flows & trends, industry-specific trends, and exchange rate trends.
Distances to market, means and mechanisms to get there, and potential obstacles (restrictions, duties, regulations) must be considered by your plan. Most critical to the entire process is concrete understanding of transaction standards and how to get paid for your product.
Securing your product and profitability requires insights to every aspect of the various potential threats. Organized and street crime. Terrorism. Cyber-crime. Corruption. Local health and medical considerations. Each of these deserve considerable attention in development of your plan to access an overseas market and mitigate the risks presented by each threat.
Political and Informational Risk
The nature of a host country’s government and its prospects for projected future stability are critical considerations. Information and intellectual property are unquestionably some of your most valuable resources. You must understand the interaction of a government’s capacity to protect your information with the legal mechanisms in place to enforce this protection.