Winning the world is best done the old-fashioned way: Divide and conquer! All companies, no matter how large or small, have constraints that they need to operate within. Achieving a global footprint is a major undertaking.
If you offer and support your product in English, you are in luck. With the product as-is or with minor changes, you can target the entire English-speaking world. This includes the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, – first, sixth, and tenth in world GDP – as well as Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and others. According to the International Monetary Fund, English-speaking countries contributed $20 trillion to the $63 trillion world GDP in 2010. This is roughly 32% of the world market!
But this is down from 40% in 2006! To hedge your risk in the long term, you have to broaden your global footprint. Additional resources should therefore be allocated to the markets that offer the most opportunity, which are typically the largest. Consider these figures:
- Mainland China (excluding the islands) is now the second-largest economy after the US, with a $5.9 trillion GDP.
- Japan dropped to third place at $5.5 trillion.
- In fourth-place is Germany. Along with Austria (whose language is also German), they have a combined GDP of roughly $3.6 trillion.
- France the sixth-largest, along with French-speaking Belgium and Quebec, pulled in over $3 trillion.
- Brazil is seventh, at $2.1 trillion and quickly rising!
- Italy is eighth with roughly $2 trillion.
- Spain, in twelfth-place, combines with Mexico, Argentina, and other Spanish-speaking countries in Central and South America for a $4 trillion GDP.
If you sell and support your product in eight languages: English, Japanese, German, Simplified Chinese (the written script in Mainland China), French, Italian, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese, you can double your market and target 80% of the world’s GDP.
But before you jump into building sales channels all over the world and localizing your product into multiple languages, taking big write-offs in the process, consider a more conservative approach.
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