Make 2018 the year you successfully enter the UK market

If 2018 is the year you have decided to do business in the large, but highly competitive and complex market that is the UK then here is our 10-point-plan to help you stand out from the crowd:

  1. Start your research and preparation as early as possible. We have lost count of the number of clients who have expressed regret in not starting sooner. Our best advice? Speak to as many people on the ground here as possible to canvas opinion about your offering and why it will appeal here.  Getting to know your target customer will be vital.
  2. Land in the UK at the right time to take advantage of the opportunity. For example, the perfect time to launch your business might be by participating in an annual show or exhibition – this could be a business to business show or one targeting consumers if you are clear about how you will reach them.  Or you could plan to run your own event at a particular season of the year to capitalise on consumer demand or your target sector’s buying cycle.
  3. Research what your competitors are doing and saying, analyse the findings and agree what makes you different.  Take another look at your business from a London point of view or take advice from a local.
  4. Establish clear and engaging messages that work in the UK for the UK audience as well as an understanding about the tone of voice and brand personality that will stand you apart from your competition.
  5. Take the time to identify all the key stakeholders and develop a plan to reach them; the media, social media and influencers are stakeholders in their own right, as well as suppliers, customers, potential brand ambassadors, employees, local communities, industry trade and professional associations and governmental and regulatory bodies.
  6. Build and use your network and the contacts of your local advisers to best effect.  These are two comments we hear most from market entry companies: “We didn’t realise it would take so long to get to meet the right people” and “It’s a completely different way of doing business than we are used to back home”,
  7. If you feel overwhelmed by the volume of contacts you are making and unsure how to prioritise future actions with them, try working out who are just being polite and saying they are interested compared to those that can really be useful to you.
  8. Do not rely solely on social media to build your profile. While it has changed the way many businesses and brands interact with their customers, it is unlikely to be the single answer to becoming known in a new territory.  And the way businesses use social media varies from country to country so make sure yours is right for the UK.
  9. Good PR or marketing ideas do not need to be complicated and are not always expensive.  Sometimes you will need to be pragmatic about what can be achieved.
  10. Finally, enjoy yourself and be flexible.  Don’t worry if your strategy needs to change, the world is constantly changing and the UK with it.

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