The world is connected like never before, and small businesses are uniquely positioned to benefit. The internet inherently breaks down borders and makes it easier to reach your target audience and have an impact. This leads to even more specific differentiation and the ability to stake out your own unique audience, regardless of where they are.
In this article, we’ll look at how small businesses can have a global reach. We’ll also look at the tools and tactics that make it possible for a global small business to scale and reach levels that were once reserved for huge, multinational companies.
Taking Advantage of Amplification
The biggest difference between now and even ten years ago is the way the internet has made it easier than ever for anyone to find you. With the right search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, you can make sure you show up on key searches and insert yourself into the conversation, no matter where you or your target customer are located.
If you’re a small business, you know that you can’t be all things to all people. You need to make decisions about what you value, and how that affects the products and services you offer.
Connectivity presents a direct way to connect with customers that share your values and cater specifically to those people. You don’t need to compromise the way you needed to when your reach was more limited. Trust that your way of delivering will connect with the right audience, and don’t worry about pleasing the cross-section of customers who agree with you and customers who are within your reach.
Maintaining an Effective Web Presence
The lynchpin of any effective global small business is a killer website. The tools to create a website that connects with your core audience and presents your brand in an effective way have never been more accessible.
Tools like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and WordPress make it easier than ever before to make a website that is both effective and aesthetically pleasing. These tools effortlessly incorporate mobile templates that adapt your work to meet growing customer demands for websites and marketplaces and can help them whenever they’re ready to make a buying decision.
Social media tools like Twitter for Business, Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat help you connect with customers where they already hang out and humanize your brand in ways that were never before possible. These tools allow your small business to carve out your niche with laser-focus, making sure you’re putting yourself in front of an audience that cares about who you are and what you’re doing.
Business Without Borders
For many companies, borders are increasingly less and less important. A vast portion of the global population speaks English as a second language. Over 25 percent of the internet’s users communicate in English, so if you’re an American company, you’re perfectly positioned to reach just about any market in any country across the globe.
On the other hand, be aware that nuances in language, culture, and localities will play a big role in how your message comes across. Senses of humor differ notably across regions, and something that is funny for one part of the world may not play up in a different country.
If you’re looking to expand to a specific market, make sure you’re working with someone who understands the market and can help your message resonate. Localization is key when connecting with the right customers to help your business take off. Smart businesses know when to get expert help, and a person who has worked in a country or target market where you lack experience is worth their weight in gold.
The Future Is Distributed
Distributed teams are on the rise, and for good reason. As millennials become the majority of the workforce, the flexibility of working from wherever is most convenient is becoming a make-or-break factor in attracting top talent. Raised on Google Chat and messenger apps, these employees know how to effectively employ tools like video chat and web apps to maintain productivity without needing to be tethered to an office (and all that entails) nine-to-five every day.
Beyond flexibility, distributed teams are also a numbers game. Being flexible about your collocation requirements means you’re broadening your hiring pool beyond people who live within commuting distance (or are willing to relocate).
A distributed team structure helps you attract the best person for the job, regardless of where they live and whatever other factors make it difficult for them to commit to a traditional work schedule. New mothers, people who care for relatives, the disabled, and more all have important reasons to value flexibility in an employment opportunity. Offering remote work provides you with more choice when you need to fill a position.
Many small businesses have also found success in outsourcing important components of their processes. If you’re a software company, for example, development and product management are obvious ingredients in your success. At the same time, simple customer service requests are a bit of a time drain (apart from the important data they provide).
It might, therefore, make sense to use a contractor or vendor to field customer calls and emails. This approach to outsourcing gives you the capacity to provide a high level of service while still aggregating feedback and making important changes to your product.
A Broadband Connection That Works
Undergirding anything that you do should be a broadband connection that meets you and your team’s needs. If you don’t have the bandwidth to share screens easily, you’ll spend more time in meetings with your remote team. If your team can’t access the digital tools it needs to get the job done, it’s going to struggle to give your brand the global reach it deserves.
Your internet connection is the gateway to creating a small business with global reach. Your business needs quick access to key business information, and the ability to connect with customers in new, more personal ways (like video streaming and VR) will be vital components of a strategy that differentiates you from your competitors. Connectivity is the interstitial medium that makes a truly global small business possible.
What You Can Do Right Now
Creating a small business with global reach is more possible now than it ever was before. The internet has leveled the playing field, allowing you to connect with highly specific niche audiences no matter where you are and what language they speak. If you focus on leveraging connectivity, you can create an effective team that can push your product or service to be all that it can be.
- Combine specificity with SEO to get picky about identifying your target audience.
- Use website building tools and social media to communicate with your customers and build your brand.
- Work with a localization expert if you’re planning on entering a new market.
- Consider distributed work options to create flexibility for your team and expand your hiring pool.
- Support your global small business with a strong broadband connection.
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