Global Business in EDA
Modesto Casas, has 28 years of worldwide market successes. He is multi-lingual and multi-cultural having lived in six countries. Mo has taken several start-ups to international regions and developed them into compelling local enterprises. His company, In Region, takes high technology companies … More »
Are you missing the opportunity to go global? These tips will signal if you are ready
March 6th, 2011 by Mo Casas
Expanding business overseas is important. If you are a small EDA vendor, going global before you are ready can be suicidal. Here are some signals that can help you decide you if you are ready to go global.
Have you been successful at home?
Local success is a prerequisite to going global. Foreign buyers may not know your company and will look at your previous success and local references. It is difficult enough to adapt success to new geographies, languages and cultures.
Knowing what works at home and adapting it to new markets is the best approach. Going to a new market without strong success in your own backyard is usually a bad idea.
Are you being approached by local representatives who want to sell your product in their markets?
This could be a sign that there is demand for your product in new foreign markets. You will notice local firms asking questions about your product, visiting your website or requesting information. The local experts may have uncovered trends or market changes that will open up new opportunities for you.
Follow up each request. What is causing them to contact you now? How are they currently dealing with the need that your product solves? Is there competition in the market? Are they willing to make an investment with you in the form of a minimum order, dedicated resources, marketing funds or equity in your company?
Do you know the market that you’re trying to get into?
The EDA Consortium www.edac.org publishes regional figures by product category. In EDA, the most important decision is when to go, rather than where. Decide where your potential key customers are going to be and make your list by region.
I like to take baby-steps with my own clients who are going into new markets. Meeting a few potential customers, visiting the competitor’s customers and meeting with potential partners before making any commitments or decisions to enter a new market have all worked well for me.
Can you support your products in far-away regions?
Going global requires a plan, careful timing, focus and capital. Phasing in each target market based on opportunity and accessibility is a good way to implement your global plan. Clear objectives, proper budgeting for trips, marketing programs and representative support are good initial steps.
Easily forgotten are sales materials and messaging, which need to be adapted for new markets. Staff to support your resellers is imperative. It always seems less work than it actually is when you get engaged, especially when you consider time zone differences and high-touch business practices in Southern Europe and Japan.
Depending on the complexity of your product, you may need to allocate engineering support at home or abroad, one or several people to manage your global expansion. I advocate local representatives on the ground, because initial costs are low and local knowledge is high. Connecting them to your corporate objectives, training them and supporting them as you do your home region sales team is a must.
Are you ready?