6 Big Failures To Avoid When Going Global


At a recent How to of Going Global event in Dublin sponsored by KPMG Private Enterprise, supported by Enterprise Ireland, Ulsterbank and Business Achievers, companies discussed the challenges and opportunities of scaling and going global. Here are 6 big failures to avoid when going global:

Join our Business Achievers community and get access to downloads to help your business, free online training courses and network with members to help grow your business. 

1. Failure to plan for the scaling

Take (and pay for) good advice for planning your export and business growth. This includes making sure you have the right finance in place and be prepared for it to take twice as long and cost twice as much as expected to get there.

2. Failure to do your research

Have you done due diligence on your market research. Avail of market research and feasibility funding offered by LEO and EI.

The results should inform strategy for market entry, distribution, PR and marketing.

Recommended reading: 5 Mistakes Companies Make When Trying to Go Global

3. Failure to understand the new market and its buyers

Each market is different and in each market there may be regional differences. Buyers buy in different ways around the world, e.g. in China people never buy off top shelf they mistrust that and go to bottom shelf.

Take the time to research and understand the psychology of the culture and the buyers.

4. Failure to support your distributor

You need a distributor on the ground. Germans buy from Germans, Chinese from Chinese, etc. so a distributor on the ground is essential. But if you don't make sure you support your distributor with technical and marketing support, training and helping them to tell your product/brand story then they will not succeed for you.
Distributors want

  • innovative product
  • scale - can they achieve x sales in y years on your product
  • reliable supply chain
  • technical and marketing support

Recommended reading: Top Tips for How to Go Global

5. Failure to understand the importance of story

The CEO is Chief Storyteller, as CEO you need to tell that story regularly, trickle it consistently down the organisation, so everyone in the company knows the story. Your distributor has to understand the story and be able to tell it.

If you are not doing this then people in your company will not execute against the vision, innovation can be stunted, delivery of success harder.

What's the story behind the business, what's the unique DNA of your brand? These should be key marketing and brand building and communication tools.
Your story, the emotional buy, what's the struggle you are overcoming?

Own a theme and tell stories around the theme, aiming to get to the point where people see your brand and know the story. Aim to be mentally available as well as physically available so that your brand is in people's minds when they have a need to buy.

6. Failure to understand the new ecosystem

No business is an island. You need to understand the value chain and the ecosystem and see where you can add value.

Not only looking at what problem are we solving for end consumer but also what problem are we solving for the members of the ecosystem. How can we add value, solve issues, etc

Analyse the value chain, start with consumer and work back.

Recommended reading: 10 Tips Shared by Companies Who Have Gone Global

The 'How to of Going Global' events series is sponsored by KPMG Private Enterprise, the next invite-only events will take place in Cork, Dublin and Galway. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.


Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Member Login

Business Insights & Tips


Jill Holtz
2343 Points
Tena Glaser
1395 Points
Michael Lane
802 Points
Ron Immink
732 Points
Fionan Murray
721 Points
View Leaderboard