It’s an exciting time here at Constellation Payments. We’re expanding our global payment processing capabilities at a rapid pace. It’s a unique opportunity we can offer our POS software provider partners.
For example, if a partner wants to enter the European market, they don’t have to go with another gateway provider. We’re able to offer a single gateway integration that allows our partners to enter this market, and many others around the world, without having to integrate with multiple new banks and acquirers. One integration allows the ability to process with many, many processors. Partners get a single point of contact with us.
Thought it’s exciting and unique, expanding into international markets shouldn’t be done on a whim.
We know it’s very easy to get really excited about the opportunities to expand a business. But, you want to make sure that you don’t get so excited about the opportunities that you miss the challenges you’ll need to overcome to do things the way you want them to be done.
SWOT It Out
Before entering new global markets, we strongly suggest taking all challenges into consideration.
The best way of doing this is to perform a SWOT analysis on the countries and regions in which you’d like to expand.
A SWOT analysis means looking at your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors that give your business an advantage or disadvantage, like financial resources, internal processes, and systems.
Opportunities and threats are external elements that influence your business like market trends, customer demographics, environmental issues, and suppliers.
After identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, you’ll want to have an internal discussion with your key product stakeholders of what markets are attractive to your software business and why.
Look at what offerings you have and make sure they’re as relevant in certain countries as they are in the countries you’re currently operating in.
How the SWOT Helps
If you’re born and raised in North America, you have a good understanding of how consumers feel about a product like yours. But when you’re entering a foreign country with different currency, different language, and a different culture, it’s very important to understand how your product or service is viewed by the prospective audience.
Is there a need for your product?
For example, we recently worked with a business that has an app with a payment component for personal trainers. They’re looking to expand into North America. A SWOT analysis revealed that there are challenges based on the current products that are currently on the market in North America. In this example, the SWOT analysis was key. The analysis uncovered the current competitive landscape and provided an eye into the future.
Deep Industry Experience Can Give You a Leg Up
If you have lots of experience with your industry, a great practice is to look at the foreign markets and say to yourself: “What’s missing from those markets? What’s missing that we can offer?”
Some emerging and foreign markets are a bit behind a more modern, robust market like a North American or European market. All the growing pains that have occurred and all lessons that have been learned in markets you’re familiar with can be applied into a new environment. That market may be lacking services and opportunities you can fill that others can’t.
Experience is also a key factor in choosing a payment processing partner. At Constellation Payments, many of our integrated partners chose us because we’ve done much of the work with regards to payments in these foreign markets already.
Do your due diligence. Run a SWOT analysis. It’s important to note too that there are limitations to a SWOT analysis. We’ve seen very extensive SWOT analyses, but also very simple iterations that are more a summary than anything else. Regardless, a SWOT analysis of any kind is a good starting point and can provide valuable insight before venturing to foreign markets.
Should you have any questions about our global payment capabilities or performing a SWOT analysis, feel free to contact us at 888.248.7060.
Images courtesy of Pixabay.com.