360° Coverage : If You're Expanding Your Business Globally, Don't Make...

2 Updates
If You're Expanding Your Business Globally, Don't Make This Mistake
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

If You're Expanding Your Business Globally, Don't Make This Mistake

Mar 14 2014, 11:03am CDT | by

By Ty Morse, CEO, Songwhale./> When I started out as an entrepreneur, I focused my businesses on American markets. I wanted to create an American record label; a study abroad program to take...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

28 weeks ago

If You're Expanding Your Business Globally, Don't Make This Mistake

Mar 14 2014, 11:03am CDT | by

By Ty Morse, CEOSongwhale.
/>

When I started out as an entrepreneur, I focused my businesses on American markets. I wanted to create an American record label; a study abroad program to take Americans overseas; new technology for American products.

But as I began to develop Songwhale, I realized that what we were doing with mobile devices — like providing premium mobile content for sporting events, targeting consumers through text messages and forwarding incentives, and creating web, tablet, and mobile versions of websites — already had global relevance. So I worked hard to make connections overseas and create new business opportunities for us.

Soon enough, I found myself halfway around the world in a corporate conference room, trying to impress slick-suited potential partners with a fast-talking presentation.

Tired from the flight and still groggy from the speed at which this venture had progressed, I had to amp it up to keep myself and the audience engaged. I began bug-eyed and too loud, pointing excitedly at the big-time executives, trying to elicit energetic responses. “What do you do?” I shouted with a finger point. “What do you want?” I asked, turning it on another. I went around the room, pointing and questioning in the hopes of generating some enthusiasm. My efforts were met with reluctance and awkward silence.

After the meeting, our partners took me aside and explained that in Thailand and Japan, pointing is a disciplinary action. It’s forceful, even accusatory. While the roomful of executives knew enough to forgive me, my actions had upset a few people. They felt very weird throughout my presentation as I had pointed and, effectively, disciplined them.

After this first meeting, I realized that as a Westerner, I was often out of the loop in international territory. I couldn’t speak the language and I didn’t understand the culture. Even while I was guiding projects, I couldn’t communicate my ideas and plans through all channels.

I realized that in order to develop our international presence, we would need to ensure strong relationships in our targeted markets. If you’re thinking of branching out to another part of the world, here are some important principles to keep in mind:

  1. Build joint ventures. I brought resources and technology, and the already established companies brought infrastructure like office space and employees. We used systems already in place, saving time and money.
  2. Develop local leadership. Having infrastructure, investments and technology prepared in advance wasn’t enough. We needed people who could make things happen in our new markets. Our strong local managers became conduits, carrying our vision to the people on the ground.
  3. Network. Opportunities for expansion often come from people you haven’t met yet. An entrepreneur I met at a West Coast event knew someone working on a digital platform like ours in Japan. I reached out to him, and it turned into a viable joint venture. An employee at Nokia was using one of our services and invited us to connect with some other companies in China. We ran with that lead and developed a new product. Connections do matter.
  4. Travel. Some partnerships just can’t be created on the phone or through a teleconference. Sometimes, you have to jump on a plane — Indiana Jones style — and make your vision happen.

When you expand your business into foreign markets, there are great benefits — new ideas, new exposure, new customers and new experiences.

Even after you have built the connections, created the joint ventures, and cultivated your local leaders, you still need to recognize that you are in another market. You have to learn and adapt. I had to learn in one of those free-falling, emotionally tormenting ways that has now become an entertaining work story. But I have worked deliberately on developing new mannerisms for presentations. Instead of pointing with one finger, I now use a softer, full hand gesture to suggest “follow me” or “right this way.”

Push yourself to adapt to your audience, and expanding into international markets will become a significantly more pleasant venture for you.

Ty Morse is the CEO of Songwhale, an interactive technology company focusing on enterprise SMS solutions and Direct Response campaigns, both domestic and international. Since the company’s 2007 launch, Ty has grown Songwhale from 2 people to over 100. 

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

4 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new comp ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

4 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17" hits ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Heated night arguments with spouse can lead to intense sex
London, Sep 27 (IANS) Do you know where does a heated argument with your spouse lead to? Straight to bed, if the argument began in the evening hours.
 
 
Sort 10 billion bacterial cells in 30 minutes!
New York, Sep 27 (IANS) A mechanical engineer from the University of Hawaii at Manoa has developed a new, high-throughput method for sorting cells, capable of separating 10 billion bacterial cells in 30 minutes.
 
 
ADB to fund USD 120 million for Bhutan's hydropower project
Thimphu, Sep 27 (IANS) The Asian Development Bank will fund $120 million towards Bhutan's 118 MW Nikachu hydropower project, whose total estimated project cost is $200 million dollars.
 
 
Indian-origin engineer develops device to improve hand function
New York, Sep 27 (IANS) An Indian-origin engineer has developed a mechanised human hand to improve its function for those who have suffered nerve damage and have undergone surgery.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Asiad hockey: Indian men in semi-final
Incheon, Sep 27 (IANS) The Indian men's hockey team advanced to the semi-finals of the 17th Asian Games with a scratchy 2-0 win over China in their final pool B match at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium Saturday. India and...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Asiad boxing: Mary Kom, Sarita and Pooja in quarters
Incheon, Sep 27 (IANS) Indian women boxers made a promising start to their Asian Games campaign with Mary Kom, L. Sarita Devi and Pooja Rani advancing to the quarter-finals of their respective categories at the Seonhak...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Indian men's squash team wins historic Asiad gold
Incheon, Sep 27 (IANS) Indian men's squash team won a historic Asian Games gold medal beating Malaysia 2-0 in the final at the Yeorumul Squash Courts here Saturday. Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu won the first match 11-8,...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Heated night arguments with spouse can lead to intense sex
London, Sep 27 (IANS) Do you know where does a heated argument with your spouse lead to? Straight to bed, if the argument began in the evening hours. According to a fascinating study, a massive argument with your...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kate Bosworth needs baby time
Kate Bosworth wants to clear her schedule to start a family. The 31-year-old actress, who married director Michael Polish last year, has reportedly been telling her agents that she doesn't want to take on any more roles...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's wedding venue switch
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin were forced to switch their wedding venue. The couple - who are due to formally tie the knot on Monday (09.29.14) after a weekend of celebrations - reportedly had their hearts set on a...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Al Pacino 'proud' of Lindsay Lohan
Al Pacino is ''proud'' of Lindsay Lohan. The 28-year-old actress - who is currently making her West End debut in 'Speed-the-Plow' - revealed she bumped into the Hollywood legend at a London hotel, where he praised her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Gwyneth Paltrow is a 'shoulder to cry on' for Jennifer Lawrence
Gwyneth Paltrow has become a ''shoulder to cry on'' for Jennifer Lawrence. The 42-year-old actress - who ''consciously uncoupled'' from Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin, earlier this year - is offering sympathy to Chris...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Sort 10 billion bacterial cells in 30 minutes!
New York, Sep 27 (IANS) A mechanical engineer from the University of Hawaii at Manoa has developed a new, high-throughput method for sorting cells, capable of separating 10 billion bacterial cells in 30 minutes....
Read more on Business Balla
 
Guy Pearce to play F. Scott Fitzgerald in 'Genius'
Los Angeles, Sep 27 (IANS) Actor Guy Pearce will portray the role of The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald in new movie "Genius" Theatre director Michael Grandage will make his feature film debut with the big...
Read more on Celebrity Balla