The Seven Most Common Mistakes Coffee Companies Make When Going Global and How To Avoid Them

by Mona Pearl

In the not too distant future, businesses will be placed into one of two categories: those that skillfully entered into the global marketplace and those that sheepishly exited out of business. A wait-and-see mindset is nothing short of organizational suicide. However, a reactionary, ill-conceived global expansion is no improvement. That, too, spells disaster.

Mistake #1: Underestimating the Time Horizon for Your Product/Services

Don’t put your plans at risk by budgeting for too short a time horizon. One of the most unpleasant risks is running out of money, after so much work and time have been invested. Be prepared for doing business to take much longer than you anticipate. It always does. There is no set time one can predict and plan on for things to happen. Unless you build the necessary relationships, it can take a long time to establish the right network and channels of distribution.  If, for example, you look at the online index that shows the ease of doing business in various countries (http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings), you can at least get the proper estimate and start planning accordingly, and be prepared to deal with the bureaucracy aspect of doing business in certain countries. It is not as simple as just moving your product or store concept from your local market to a target market. After looking at this index, you’ll need to be able to interpret the information and analyze how it affects your business plans and what may be the best ways to overcome some of the hurdles.

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