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Friday, June 12, 2009

Growing Gains - How to Tap Into Emerging Markets

With the advent of the Internet-era businesses are now able to expand by globalising their operations with relative ease. Before the days of the World Wide Web, tapping into new foreign markets was the territory of big businesses with big budgets. But with a simple networked computer and a little technical know-how, it's possible for the smallest of home-based businesses to look abroad and build an international client base.

Traditionally, the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) have been seen as being among the fastest growing developing economies and have therefore been high on marketers' hit-lists. However, an emerging market is anywhere that has untapped potential - it could just as easily be Scandinavia or any number of Eastern European countries. And when deciding which countries to target, it's important to establish that there is a need for the product or service on offer.

First of all, research how much competition exists there already - it's important that there are some similar local services, as this will confirm that demand is there. However, be wary of market saturation - if there's too much competition already, it can be extremely difficult to gain a foothold.

Secondly, once a demand has been established, the quickest and most cost-effective way of gaining exposure in the market is to use the latent power of the World Wide Web. As it currently stands, as much as 70 percent of the world's Internet users' first language is a non-English language, meaning there's a wealth of online opportunities to tap into there.

Website translation and 'Search Engine Optimisation' (SEO) can yield immediate results in this respect, but it's important to research key terms that a local Internet user would actually use. For this, it may be an idea to use a translation company that understands how search engines work. If this is implemented correctly, it's possible for even a small business to rise to the top of search engine rankings relatively quickly, with minimal financial outlay.

Of course, there's a lot more to the globalisation process than simply translating a website. As a company grows, the whole IT infrastructure of the business can be seriously tested if it's not equipped to handle significant increases in Internet traffic. And this is why it's always wise to choose a reliable web host and data centre service.

Given the importance of online technology in the modern day business world, business continuity is essential to maintain as a company grows. If an IT system is disrupted, it can jeopardise an organisation's ability to function at all. And the amount of revenue that can be lost due to viruses, power failures, system failures and a whole host of other technical failures doesn't bear thinking about.

By having dedicated data centres to house a company's servers and web applications, this will go some way towards ensuring the necessary safeguards are in place to protect against an IT disaster. And in conjunction with a smart approach towards tapping into new emerging markets, businesses of all sizes can succeed in reaching their full potential across the globe.


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