Start-ups are being encouraged to adopt some simple tactics when entering new markets, following the arrival in NSW of two overseas technology companies.
Lost Boys International, based in London, and Silicon Valley-based ZINFI Technologies have both announced plans to set up offices in Sydney.
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Lost Boys International, or LBi, is a global marketing and technology agency, while ZINFI Technologies is a leader in integrated marketing and professional services for IT companies.
“It’s fantastic to welcome both LBi and ZINFI Technologies to Sydney,” NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said in a statement.
StartupSmart identifies five things you can learn from global expansions:
Highlight the benefits
Both LBi and ZINFI were quick to point out that their arrival in Sydney will create new jobs, thus turning the attention away from themselves while instilling confidence in the public.
“[LBi’s] arrival in Sydney provides a springboard for the Australian and Asia Pacific markets, with the company forecasting 15 new jobs in Sydney by the end of 2012,” Stoner said.
“ZINFI Technologies… anticipates hiring up to 10 employers to be based out of its Sydney office.”
Talk it up
There’s nothing wrong with using a bit of good old-fashioned flattery in a bid to attract new clients and customers, providing it’s sincere and you’re honest about your motives.
ZINFI spokesperson Karo Esmaili sung Sydney’s praises by describing it as “a world-class city to work, live and play in”, but made no secret of the fact that Sydney is a stepping stone to Asia.
“We see Sydney as a central hub in Australia and a gateway to [the] Asia Pacific,” Esmaili says.
“As we look to grow our Asia Pacific business in the coming years, we’ll be relying heavily on attracting highly talented and skilled individuals to our organisation.”
“We truly believe that Sydney can cater for this, as it has one of the best talent pools in the world.”
Make the connection
While it’s all well and good to outline your plans for a new market, you also need to explain how that market ties into your offering. This will help you to appeal to your main customers.
When Baskin-Robbins ramped up its recruitment drive, as part of its new owners’ expansion in Australia, it made an important connection between the brand and the Australian market.
Srinivas Kumar, president of Baskin-Robbins International, told StartupSmart he was confident Australian consumers would continue to eat ice cream because of their laidback lifestyle.
“There’s warm weather right though the year, people are outdoorsy [and] they love the beaches. Ice cream goes very well with that,” Kumar said.
Partner with a local player
Rather than attempt to crack a new market all by yourself, consider partnering with an existing player to help you make your mark.
Online music giant Spotify recently struck a partnership deal with Brisbane start-up We Are Hunted as it prepares for its Australian launch.
Aimed at helping people discover new music, We Are Hunted will be used by Spotify to offer its customers a way to access new artists, rather than just established bands.
“There is no financial deal with Spotify. We just want to get people participating,” We Are Hunted co-founder Richard Slatter told StartupSmart.
Put someone on the ground
In a bid to raise its profile in Australia, US-based travel web service Airbnb made a big show of announcing its first Australia-based hire, local tech entrepreneur Matthew Ho.
According to Ho, Airbnb already has an “amazing” community in Australia, so he will focus on signing up new properties and new users.
“As we grow, it is our trusted community that makes Airbnb the leading marketplace for discovering and listing unique spaces all over the world,” Ho wrote on Silicon Beach Australia.
“We will continue to innovate and bring our community better ways to connect with people across the globe. We… have some exciting plans for the Australian market.”