You might think it’s hard to become a global startup, but companies from all over the world are managing to make it internationally, and here are a few ways it can be done.
1. It takes the same effort to stand out a little, or a lot
To get the world to notice you, sometimes all you need is interesting online content that can span geographies. It takes thinking rather than big budgets.
Back when I started my company Vend, we had skydiving school using our software, so we decided to go something a bit different: I was filmed being thrown out of a plane using our point-of-sale system to show that we accept payments anywhere (and it worked!).
It was cost effective, and watching someone try to sell their product 1,000 meters in the air seemed to appeal to people regardless of geography.
2. Act like the company you want to be tomorrow, today
Act like the bigger, more worldly company you want to become and you will get there. For example, set up a professional management board with international experience even if it seems excessive at the beginning.
The advice and connections from your board will increase your chance of success and show you how to get there. Get the stationary, website and project the company you are going to be.
3. On the internet no-one knows who you are
No one knows you’re a dog, or a Kiwi, or someone pretending to be a little more global than they already are. This was certainly the case for Vend. Founded in New Zealand in 2010 we now provide digital cash registers for more than 20,000 retail stores in over 140 countries.
I still haven’t been to about 100 of them. We promoted ourselves internationally from the outset, picking up customers in different timezones and increasing our growth rapidly.
Internationalism spurs growth and constant innovation, connecting your business to differing cultures, ways of working and customer needs. So don’t be afraid to think big and be bold.
There’s a big world out there.
Cover image credit: SpaceX