8 Steps to Take Your Service Business Global

Eight-point guide to take your service business global
Sukanya18 November 2023

“Macha, that’s where the money is!” When business owners like you hear this, you may wonder if you’re doing the right thing, serving only domestic clients. Whether it is looking at the LinkedIn posts of our ex-boss who took a new job role in Singapore or Instagram stories of batchmates who started their careers in Silicon Valley, working with global clients has its allure.

The reason to pursue this can be many: financial reward, exposure to newer learnings, or simply the sheer thrill of venturing into newer markets. Irrespective of your motivation, expanding your service business globally is a huge step.

Many Indian businesses are going global - both small and big. It includes multi-billion dollar corporations like Infosys and TCS to newer SaaS startups like Vymo (which is serving 65+ global corporations with 3,00,000+ users). Moreover, Indian businesses are adequately equipped to serve a global clientele. 

We have a large, English-speaking, young workforce, proficient in IT and relatively cheaper than our Western counterparts. Indian service exports hit $273.6 billion in 2022 and are set to cross $750 billion in 2023. Additionally, over 63 million MSMEs in India already contribute to about 40% of India’s overall exports. This means that you have an immense opportunity to grow and serve international clients. 

It's a decision that can bring immense opportunities but also some hard challenges. The world is full of stories of businesses that failed to go global. However, there are also stories of businesses that successfully expanded globally and transformed into global giants.

This easy-to-follow, eight-point checklist especially for Indian service export businesses will guide you through your first phase of global expansion and help you overcome challenges related to your global business strategy. 

These tips have been curated based on years of experience working with service businesses like yours, helping them expand globally.

1. Understand your service and your target audience for going global

What are the factors leading to your business’s success in the domestic market? You need to identify your service business’s unique attributes and selling points against your competitors. 

If you’re a software development company selling imaging software to the healthcare industry, you can tailor your marketing efforts to target potential customers in the global healthcare industry.

Break them down and ask these questions if they must be adapted to the global audience.

  • What is your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)? What is the organisation size, industry, and paying capacity that you’re targeting?
  • Do you need to tweak your value proposition?
  • How will you alter your pricing strategies?
Understand your service and your target audience for going global

Moreover, apart from understanding your market-specific aspects, you also need to analyse that country’s overall economic and political scenario. This can be done by analysing their GDP, inflation rate, political stability, international relations with your country and level of business-friendly environment provided by the country. 

These will ensure you balance between short-term and long-term opportunities that a country provides. For example, a country that provides generous incentives to help businesses become technology-ready could be a lucrative opportunity for an IT services company. 

2. Position your service business to your target audience

After understanding your buyer persona/target market, the next step is to make changes to your existing perception (if needed).

  • Understand your customers’ needs, preferences, and pain points. How is your service solving their challenges?
  • Customise your website and LinkedIn pages to reflect that understanding. Instead of selling through features, focus on the benefits your customers get.
  • Use outside-in research and talk to other exporters to gain insights.

For example, if your target audience is in the Middle East, you must adjust your marketing messaging and language to appeal to that audience. Exercise cultural sensitivity while highlighting how your solutions can address specific challenges faced by them.

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