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Why should I internationalize my company? Great advantages of business internationalization

¿Por qué debería internacionalizar mi empresa? Grandes ventajas de la internacionalización empresarial

Last week, in one of the conferences with companies in which I participate, the moderator asked me the reasons or advantages why a company should internationalize.

First of all, I would like to say that internationalization is for me a very 'big' word and that it has to be adjusted to each company. In other words, the 'reasons for' and the 'advantages of' going international will be different for each company, depending mainly on its size and objectives, the previous experience of the organization itself and of the people who make it up, as well as the sector of activity.

In any case, I will summarize them in four main aspects:

  1. Sell more and/or better to more customers in more 'places'. Although internationalization is clearly more than just exporting..
  1. To internationalize is also to 'defend', to diversify risk-market and risk-customers. To go abroad to grow and learn, before outsiders come to my own market to sell to my clients..
  1. Learning. All departments, the whole organization, all people. Ways of doing, ways of communicating, competition, complementary, markets, customers, certificates, transports, insurance, collections, changes, quality audits.…
  1. And a variable that is often forgotten, but which in my opinion is very important: to internationalize is to generate value to your company: if you want to sell your company, it will probably be worth much more with customers, suppliers, experience, personnel... International than only national..

As I said, it all depends on the starting point of each company.

Ejemplos de internacionalización de empresas:

  • Export: sell to customers in areas where you do not sell. Expand the commercial network, direct, representatives, distributors, prescribers.…
  • Learning: for example, visiting international trade fairs in markets that are not currently a priority. Get to know customers and foreign competition.
  • Buying from new suppliers in international markets.
  • Design products that comply with different international standards.
  • Recruit staff of different nationalities to bring new knowledge and sensitivities to the company.
  • In addition to opening and/or participating in purchasing offices, sales offices, production plants... In this sense, with money, it is often better to buy something existing. You gain speed.

For the internationalization of companies, it is necessary to be clear, therefore, about the starting situation and the objectives we set ourselves.

And for very small companies or those with little commercial inertia, we must not forget that NATIONAL IS PART OF INTERNATIONAL.

We have to work where we have the opportunity. Not everyone has to start internationalizing in Japan, France or the United Kingdom. As a good friend of mine, CEO of a large company, says, "many small companies should start internationalizing to the next town".

An equation that I leave for reflection:


 Ignacio Fernández Zabaleta,
Partner Director de Onura