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Foreign Market Entry

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All research done on foreign market entry thus far remains restricted to large manufacturing firms. The foreign market selection as well as the choice of its entry mode significantly determines the performance of a particular firm. (Allbusiness, 1993). The expansion of a business in a bid to explore foreign markets requires substantial investments (money) and time and a fair amount of pre-planning. The idea of treading an unexplored territory, may involve a few challenges as not there is not a one-size-fits-all solution here.


 The process is rather intricate and at times may require refocusing on certain research aspects. The final result is always a reflection of the preliminary research, planning and having the right processes. These processes include globalization, internationalization, localization and translation. (Industry Wizards, 2007). Each step is vital in bringing a product to a fresh market. Let’s take a brief look at each of these processes:




The process of Globalization involves the development, manufacture and marketing of the product for its distribution in the foreign market segment. The two main obstacles that any company needs to contend with when entering a foreign market; are language and culture. The process of globalization involves internationalization and localization and translation remains an inherent part of localization. (Industry Wizards, 2007).




Internationalization is the process of generalizing a product to prepare it for localization. (RFIDwizards, 2007). This in turn can be explained as a product to cater to a popular taste hence making it popular and then presented to the general public. This acts as a counterbalance for the product which in turn expedites the localization process. This process enhances product quality and significantly reduces the localization costs and the time to market it. With just one single step of Internationalization; makes it an easier task for the company to localize the particular product for various locations.


The internationalization process may involve the following tasks:

  • Reduce surplus or repetitive text.
  • Modify and/or settle on a final text before the localization and translation process.
  • Application of standard language/nomenclature.
  • Creation of a glossary containing original, technical or perhaps unclear terms.
  • Implementation of a coherent writing style.
  • Adherence to grammar rules
  • Flexible layouts that fit right-to-left or top-to-bottom scripts
  • Application of programming tools that support foreign language character sets. (RFIDwizards, 2007).




The next step involves localization which involves acclimatizing the product to fit the specific language as well as culture of a particular market. The aim of this process is to make the product as comprehensible and natural for the user.

The following aspects of different countries need to be taken into account during this process:

  • time and date formats
  • time zones
  • keyboard usage
  • currency conversion
  • paper size
  • units of measurement
  • graphics
  • colours
  • symbols
  • names and titles



This is an integral part of the localization process and involves translation of text from one language to another.


According to a research performed by the Common Sense Advisory, the “outsourced language services” market stands at $10 billion and this figure is expected to grow at a rate of 15-20% every year. (IndustryWizards, 2007).




D’Souza, Derrick E, Allbusiness (1993) “Venturing into foreign markets: the case of the small service firm”.

Available from: 

Accessed: 10/24/2007


Nemec, Lauren, Translatus Inc (2007) “The steps to foreign market entry”.

Available from: =194&Itemid=168 

Accessed: 10/24/2007

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