Competence and networking required for entering the international market
A company entering the international market should include international business competence as well as knowledge of language and culture. Networking is important with operators in both the domestic market and the target market.
When your company is about to enter the international market, it needs knowledge of international business. Put emphasis on language skills, awareness of the target market and understanding the culture of the region.
Your company should be aware of the legal, customs and taxation practices in both Finland and the target country. Competence in marketing is also highly beneficial. Your company also requires an ability to utilise and expand its networks globally.
Your company should also invest in developing and managing sales channels. Consider whether your company has the competence required in developing a methodological and systematic approach.
You can obtain the competence required for internationalisation by attending training and hiring new experts to your company. You can also purchase external services.
Training and advice aiming at entering the international market and supporting this is available for entrepreneurs. You can also complete vocational qualifications in fields such as foreign trade or customs.
Targeted training for those aiming to enter different target markets is also available. For example, the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce gives advice to companies aiming to enter the Russian market and Finnpartnership to companies aiming to enter the markets of developing nations.
While some of the training organised by public administration is free of charge, training is more commonly subject to a fee. Basic advice is usually free of charge. Training is organised by, for example ELY Centres, Business Finland, the Finnish Customs and chambers of commerce.
Training and company-specific coaching by private service providers is also available.
More general training on business, marketing, language and culture is also available, for instance, at open universities.
The ELY Centres and Business Finland also organise events related to internationalisation also participated by foreign operators. The events help you obtain information about the opportunities available in new markets.
Make use of the organisations belonging to Team Finland and the networks available through them in entering the international market. This will allow you to make contacts with new business partners, authorities in the region and industrial associations. The network allows you to find competent service providers familiar with local conditions and business opportunities.
For example, think about whether your company would benefit from joining one of Business Finland’s growth programmes. These have been divided into different themes such as travel, digitalisation, and health and wellbeing. They allow you to become a part of larger entities bringing Finnish companies to the world.
Based on your needs, you can also make use of the services of Enterprise Europe Network and Viexpo, which is specialised in export.
Remember to also survey the networks of your region's business development company and other entrepreneurs you know. Get to know Finns living or operating in the target region even if they work in a different industry. Also build networks with the local operators in your own industry.