Expert Contribution in Financieele Dagblad
Updated: Aug 5, 2021
weGrow was called out as experts by Analyse Nederland and distribuited by FD for a special focus on international growth.
In particular, 3 questions were made to…
Florent Coudyser and Gernot Schwendtner, founders of weGrow International
Many companies face difficulties when attempting international market expansion, and many of them fail or waste time and money. Preparation is the key to preventing this.
1. Why do so many companies fail when it comes to international market expansion?
“They lack preparation and experience. Picking the wrong markets is a classic example of this. Secondly, many companies haven’t thought up a good plan. Setting up in a new country is like climbing a mountain. First, you need to know what mountain you want to climb and then you need to prepare and build up strength. Also, you need to know the market and take cultural differences into account. Just copy-pasting your business idea onto a foreign market does not work, you need to adjust to their wants and needs. Experienced experts also help.”
2. How can you de-risk market expansion in order to successfully expand your business?
“Do your research. Build a prototype and test it on minimal viable markets. Launch your pilots, test the waters and define a good framework. Also, work with local experts or native interim people like us. They know the markets and can help you understand them too. A lot of this comes down to communication. How do you structure that and do you keep a foot on the ground in the country? As a founder or CEO, you need to give it enough attention so it can grow. Lastly, you need to evaluate. If it doesn’t work, change things or cut your losses. Listen to the market and it will tell you what to do. If you have the local fit, the rest will come.”
3. How does international rollout build resilience?
“We mostly work with fast scaling tech companies such as WeTransfer, ParkBee, Channable and so on, that have the money and the fuel to grow. Now the market has been disrupted due to covid, research showed that 80% of these companies confirmed that being international was a huge advantage to them because it allowed them to spread their risks. That was also partly because they were already remote work friendly due to their international position and could therefore continue to work together internationally as well as locally. Lastly, they were also more resilient because there were no physical products, which makes their product very scalable and agile. They have a growth mindset that makes it easier for them to adapt to multicultural backgrounds. It’s in their DNA.”
👉 Want to know more? Check our Internationalisation Checklist!