As you might find yourself succeed in doing business in your country, you will likely start thinking about going further in this direction. Yet, what can go after the initial success then? The answer is quite simple and that would be the international success. As you manage to pull a great revenue in your country, you can do just the same in another one. That’s exactly what many other entrepreneurs like you have been thinking about within the past few years. Internationalization does open a lot of other opportunities aside from the potentially boosted revenue. But what is the most effective way to expand internationally and how can you do that? Let’s find out!
Essentials of Getting Global
With our extremely fast-changing and interconnected world, doing business internationally is a relatively safe venture with a potentially huge payoff. One of the best ways to start doing international business is to establish your presence in another country. And the best way to do that is to take smaller steps, such as launching your brand. Branding, in turn, largely consists of marketing and other communications with your customers. Thinking about the international expansion this way largely simplifies the whole deal as there is a couple of proven tricks that tend to work in nearly every situation. Here are some of them.
- Studying your brand. You might say something like “what? Why would I need to study what I have created myself?” Yes, that does sound absurd, yet, the point here is that no matter how well you know your brand, your customers look at it from a totally different perspective, which turns the perception of your brand upside down. You must, hence, to study your brand thoroughly not as its creator and owner but as a customer who’s going to follow it and buy the related products. This will make your job of appealing to the foreign audiences much easier as all you’ll have to do is to transform (or not) your brand to make it attractive in your target country.
- Studying the new audience. This is the second basic ingredient of a successful branding and marketing campaign. Obviously, you must know your audience before you go. By doing so, you will find out what people you plan to sell your products to like and what they need. Learn the consumer trends of your target country, the buying power of people there, and how people are influenced by various means of media communication. Combined with the knowledge of your brand, you’ll be able to move further to the next step, which is (possible) brand transformation.
- Changing your brand coherently. After you learned how your brand is perceived by your already established audience, as well as your potential audience in the new country, you might want to adapt your brand to new customers. You might not change it at all, or you might want to make a complete rebranding. The main point is that don’t try to sell fish of what you’re selling is meat. If originally your brand is about fast food, it won’t sell as healthy food in another country as people will likely get confused and choose to simply pass your brand by.
- Learn about localization and apply it. While a mere translation might be enough for the formal parts of your brand, such as the documents and licenses, it will certainly not be enough for the marketing campaign and branding. Essentially, you can transform your brand any way you like, but you must certainly address the best translation services with experts in localization. This way, you’ll be able to adapt your brand to the cultural norms and perception of your audience exactly as it’s needed to be appealing.
- Partner with local professionals to present your brand. Those might be the marketing specialist or the local celebrities that agree to advertise your brand. In any case, there must be local internal support for your brand. As you work with people in their native country, they’ll be able to help you make your marketing campaign and branding as efficient as it can be.
Be Patient, Move Slowly
The most important thing you must understand that despite the world turning fast and changing rapidly, quick results of your international branding are very unlikely. The studying phase might take quite a lot of time and that only takes two out of five steps. Yet, however challenging it might be, it’s also rewarding as time is money and as you invest enough time, you’ll get a return as a similar amount of revenue. So, make sure to take baby steps and brand thoroughly, no matter how slow it might seem in the short run.
G20: Global co-operation and strong policy action needed for a sustainable recovery
The COVID-19 crisis has exposed major weaknesses in our economies that can only be fixed through greater global co-operation and strong, targeted policy action, according to a new OECD report presented to the Leaders of the G20 countries at their virtual Summit this weekend.
New Horizons, a report requested by the G20 to support its Action Plan in response to the crisis, says governments need to plan now for the recovery while continuing to live with the virus. Emergency economic measures to tackle the crisis will need to be adapted, support to people and businesses become more targeted, and new policies put in place to make the objective of a stronger, sustainable and inclusive global economy, a reality.
Speaking at the Summit OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said that ambitious reforms were needed to ensure a vigorous recovery. He added: “We need to make sure health and social protection benefit all, that public and private investment is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, and we need to build resilience into the heart of our economic and social systems.”
The OECD identifies the need for stronger co-operation between governments in a number of fields:
- in health, from research to distributing COVID-19 vaccines,
- in trade, to ensure robust global production chains,
- in the taxation of multinationals as the economy becomes increasingly digitalised,
- in environmental sustainability, and,
- in preventing sudden outflows of capital and sovereign debt crises in emerging markets and developing countries.
The report says exceptional fiscal spending and monetary support should be maintained as long as needed to buffer the shock of the pandemic, and outlines how governments should work on three main fronts – to reallocate resources; support people; and build a sustainable and resilient economic system for the future.
The crisis is accelerating changes to the economy, which are often disruptive. Governments will need to assist workers and businesses to transition from shrinking to expanding sectors; by removing barriers to mobility, by increasing competition, and by making it easier for firms to access finance and advanced technologies or to restructure.
Improving training and building skills, particularly among the low-skilled, youths and women who are often vulnerable in the labour market, will be key. Job retention schemes will need to evolve to ensure that people, rather than their jobs, are protected, that their opportunities are widened and their income safeguarded.
Increasing public and private investment particularly in healthcare, digitalisation, lowering carbon emissions, education and skills are essential to reinforce sustainability and resilience.
The New Horizons report is part of the broad range of analysis and recommendations from the OECD and other international organisations to support the work of the G20.
Mr. Gurría welcomed the achievements of the G20 under the Saudi presidency. In particular, he pointed to the G20 reaffirming its targets to reduce the percentage of young people who are most at risk of being left behind in the labour market by 15% by 2025, and to reduce the gender gap in the labour force by 25 % over the next five years. The OECD and ILO will continue monitoring progress in these areas, as well as on the impact of the pandemic on employment and trends in migration.
Mr Gurría said the OECD is continuing to work with the G20 towards achieving a political agreement on how to tax the digital economy by mid-2021. In the Secretary-General’s Tax Report to G20 finance ministers, the OECD warns that without an agreement there would be a proliferation of unilateral measures and an increase in damaging tax and trade disputes that could cut global GDP at a time when we are reeling from the pandemic.
He added that a sustainable economic recovery from the crisis would be undermined by environmentally harmful spending – such as fossil fuel subsidies – which still outweighs more ecologically friendly investments in the recovery packages announced by governments.
Mr Gurría also welcomed G20 progress on fighting corruption and criminalising foreign bribery, including the request by Saudi Arabia to join the OECD Working Group on Bribery, with a view to adhering to the OECD Anti-bribery Convention, the international standard in this area.
Survey Says Cost and Complexities of COVID-19 Tests Main Obstacles for Employers
A new global business survey found that few employers are testing their employees regularly when they come to work because they find the tests too costly (28%), too complicated to implement (22%), or they are concerned about the accuracy of the tests (18%).
1,125 employers across 1,141 facilities in 29 countries participated in COVID-19 Workplace Commons – Keeping Workers Well Survey. An interactive data dashboard and inaugural report provides details on some of the challenges faced by companies and benchmarks current practices. The report provides findings from employers across the globe about their approach to testing, contact tracing, facility safety, pandemic response, financial impact and pandemic preparedness.
Conducted by Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions and the World Economic Forum, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the survey found that for companies with employees on-site at the workplace, many are taking some steps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Nearly three-fourths (74%) of these companies report they require masks for their employees, and nearly 80% make masks and hand sanitizer available.
“How to move the economy forward while keeping people safe is on the mind of every business leader as they continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mara Aspinall, professor of practice at the College of Health Solutions. “The survey findings give us a clearer picture of the many difficult decisions employers face in trying to reduce the spread of the disease — and why more must be done to expand access to rapid-result testing.”
“We have created a community for leaders to share their challenges and current practices,” said Genya Dana, head of health care transformation at the World Economic Forum. “We believe these resources will help leaders everywhere make informed decisions as the pandemic continues to evolve.”
Globally, the majority (65%) of businesses surveyed were small businesses with 25 or fewer employees, with nearly 80% having fewer than 100 employees. 62.5% of the survey respondents were U.S. businesses.
“As businesses continue reopening and employees return to the workplace, we are again caught in an intense virus upswing with COVID-19 cases hitting record numbers,” said Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, managing director for pandemic response, preparedness, and prevention, health initiative, with the Rockefeller Foundation. “We must come together and do everything in our power to keep the economy open and keep people safe.”
Additional survey findings include:
Only 36% of companies had disaster or emergency response plans in place pre-COVID-19, and of those only 39% had plans specifically for epidemics or pandemics; 47% of those said their plan was useful for the pandemic.26% of respondents report increased monthly operating costs of 26% or more (excluding testing expenses).Notably, the data revealed that there were few significant differences between U.S. and non-U.S. companies except in contact tracing, where U.S. companies are doing much less compared with other regions (37% for U.S. vs. 54% for non-U.S.).43% of all companies are performing some form of contact tracing, with 58% of them making it mandatory and 17% requiring workers to sign liability waivers.
“By sharing the findings of our survey, we are ensuring broad access to information and truly democratizing knowledge during the pandemic,” said Nate Wade, project co-lead and senior director of strategic initiatives at ASU’s College of Health Solutions.
Women hit hard by COVID-19 impact on garment sector
The impact of COVID-19 on women in the garment industry has worsened due to underlying challenges including discrimination and harassment, underrepresentation of women’s voice, wage gaps as well as unevenly shared unpaid care and family obligations according to a new brief from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Entitled Gendered impacts of COVID-19 on the garment sector the brief aims to raise awareness of the gendered reality of COVID-19 and to outline how the pandemic impacts women and men workers in the garment sector.
“Women account for approximately 80 per cent of the garment sector workforce, so they are heavily affected to start with by many of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, women also experience additional impacts due to the existing challenges they face in the workplace as well as expectations regarding women’s obligations in the home,” says Joni Simpson, Senior Gender Specialist for the ILO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
Recent ILO research highlighted how major buying countries’ imports from garment-exporting countries in Asia had dropped by up to 70 per cent in the first half of 2020, due to COVID-19. This has led to a sharp increase in worker layoffs and dismissals while factories that have reopened are often operating at reduced workforce capacity. The Asia-Pacific region employed an estimated 65 million garment sector workers in 2019, accounting for 75 per cent of all garment workers worldwide.
The brief highlights short, medium, and long-term impacts of the crisis on women workers. It also includes a series of recommendations to help build a more just and resilient industry and greater gender equality.
Recommendations include greater focus on retrenchment and closure practices as well as addressing women’s disproportionate unpaid care obligations so they can return to work as factories resume operations. Efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic should account for the unique ways that women and men may encounter the effects of the coronavirus at work, at home and in their communities. The importance of strengthening efforts to combat violence and harassment in the workplace is highlighted, in view of emerging data showing that COVID-19 has increased the risks of gender-based violence. In addition, the need to ensure women’s voice, representation and leadership in dialogue and decision-making is also seen as key to ensuring a full and fair recovery from the pandemic.
“It is crucial that governments, businesses and other stakeholders understand the multi-dimensional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on both women and men workers, and design policies that enable a smart, sustainable and gender-responsive recovery. Otherwise, the COVID-19 crisis threatens to exacerbate pre-existing inequalities and will hamper the social and economic sustainability of the garment sector,” said Jessica Wan, Better Work Gender Specialist.
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