At home, politics continue to be dominated by Brexit, with politicians, the press and the public all in a constant state of volatility. The prime minister has tried to show clarity in government, but this hasn’t done much to change things or calm nerves of those out for success in business.
Indeed, having experienced political volatility in the past, I know first-hand how worrying this can be.
Outside the UK, world events have also been creating unease for small businesses. Donald Trump’s approach to trade agreements threatens to change the way we do business today, while the growth of populism across Europe has continued to make things pretty unsteady as we head towards French and German elections later in the year.
However, the current climate need not deter British entrepreneurs like myself from trading internationally. My company has ridden out recent periods of global instability and has continued to prosper with success in business.
There’s no reason we can’t expect other firms to achieve success in business in 2017, it just takes a little more planning.
Getting on the front foot with how best to protect your own company in the year ahead is vital. Based on my own experience, here are some top tips I’d like to share for success in business:
(1) Find a gap in the market
Finding a gap in the market, particularly in a sector you are genuinely interested in, will go a long way in providing the boost you need to stand out in a crowded and confusing global marketplace.
It’s exactly what we did when founding Torro Cases – and within three years, we’ve grown from being a hobby business to one with over 100,000 customers worldwide by identifying a strong niche.
When smartphones took off, people were paying a huge amount for the latest devices, but couldn’t find cases to do them justice. There were basic plastic cases at one end of the market, overpriced cases at the other, and little in between.
We identified a clear gap in the market and channelled our energy and resources into fulfilling it with an affordable, yet high-quality product. It just goes to show the value of doing your research and leveraging gaps in the market quickly for success in business.
(2) Go global
In recent years, online selling has made it easier than ever to trade internationally. At the same time, many new fulfilment networks are emerging that can help extend the reach of your brand.
Opening up your sales to other territories can double or even quadruple the pool of potential buyers within your reach. For example, in North America alone in 2016, over 197m consumers shopped online.
We started our business in Newcastle, but through online sales, we’ve expanded our geographical reach beyond the UK. With the help of Amazon and our own website, we’ve seen considerable growth across Europe and the US, and continue to expand in these markets, particularly Germany.
If you want to do the same, research the international markets where your sector is underserved, and where there could be a gap to fill. Be careful also to research competitors, and map out where you may face pressure from local rivals.
Don’t forget to investigate emerging markets, which may offer untapped opportunities for the right kinds of business.
Continue on the next page for details on how currency strategy and preparation fit into success in business.