10 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

 
 
 

19 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
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan R ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by robber ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewa ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hu ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern states last month. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in compensation ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of RM20 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Scheme 2 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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

OPEC daily basket price closes tad higher
Vienna, July 30 (IANS) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stood at $105.44 a barrel Tuesday, against $105.22 last Thursday, according to the OPEC Secretariat.
 
 
Moscow calls US sanctions 'illegitimate'
Moscow, July 30 (IANS) The economic sanctions imposed by the United States are a revenge on Russia, the country's foreign ministry said Wednesday.
 
 
EU boosts funding to fight Ebola epidemic
Brussels, July 30 (IANS) The European Union Wednesday allocated an additional 2 million euros ($2.68 million) in aid to tackle the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
 
 
Top doctor in Sierra Leone dies of Ebola
Nairobi, July 30 (IANS/EFE) Sierra Leone's top Ebola virus doctor, Sheikh Umar Khan, died a few days after contracting the lethal disease which has claimed the lives of 672 people in Western Africa, health authorities in Sierra Leone announced Wednesday.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Jessica Simpson wants to be thinner?
Jessica Simpson is allegedly eager to lose more weight. The Weight Watchers spokesperson, who lost 50 pounds before marrying Eric Johnson in Montecito, California earlier this month, is said to be determined to stick to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Chris Pratt's son brought him closer to Anna Faris
Chris Pratt says his premature baby boy brought him closer to his wife, Anna Faris. The 'Guardians of the Galaxy' star and the 37-year-old actress welcomed their son, Jack, into the world nine weeks early in August 2012...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Drew Barrymore pays tribute to late half-sister
Drew Barrymore has paid tribute to her estranged older half-sister, who was found dead on Tuesday (07.29.14). The 39-year-old actress offered her sympathies to her extended family after Jessica Barrymore, whom she only...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
G7 warns Russia faces more sanctions
London, July 31 (IANS) The G7 leaders in a joint statement Wednesday said Russia will face further economic sanctions if it continued to support rebels in Ukraine. The warning came after the EU added eight more...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Kim Kardashian slams Rob's ex-girlfriend
London, July 31 (IANS) Reality TV star Kim Kardashian has hit out at brother Rob Kardashian's ex-girlfriend Adrienne Bailon for bad mouthing her sibling. Talking to a Latina magazine, the actress-and-singer, who dated...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kohli's significant dinner date with Vaughan (Analysis)
Southampton, July 31 (IANS/RAY) Tuesday night, India batsman and vice-captain Virat Kohli had dinner with Michael Vaughan, former England captain, at a Brazilian restaurant in Southampton. This was revealed by the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Few Americans believe US winning fight against terror: Poll
Washington, July 31 (IANS) Belief that the US is winning the fight against terrorism has dropped to its lowest level in more than a decade of regular tracking, a poll has found. A new Rasmussen Reports national...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Simon Cowell will be a great dad: Ex-girlfriend
Los Angeles, July 31 (IANS) Former Playboy model Carmen Electra says that her ex-boyfriend, Simon Cowell, will be a great father to his son Eric. The 54-year-old music mogul and his girlfriend, Lauren Silverman,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Reach out to others as friends: UN chief
United Nations, July 31 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon has called upon all to reach out to one another as friends and build long-term foundations for lasting peace in the time of mistrust and violence....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
When Rita Ora forgot her lines
Los Angeles, July 31 (IANS) Singer Rita Ora found acting "difficult" as she kept forgetting her lines while filming her scenes for the upcoming erotica "Fifty Shades of Grey". The 23-year-old singer, who is playing...
Read more on Celebrity Balla