All entrepreneurial journeys start with a simple question, “What if?” That’s exactly what Intuit asked more than four years ago as it looked to unite its existing and new business outside the United States.
It began with a handful of employees looking at ways to take Intuit’s expertise in improving the financial lives of small businesses and consumers beyond North American borders. Today, Intuit’s global business division, led by president Alex Lintner, has more than 15 global offerings and more than 400 employees in five countries including India, the United Kingdom and Singapore. And with more than 6 billion people in the world, there are huge opportunities for growth.
So what lessons has Intuit learned along the way? Alex Lintner shares tips on expanding your business globally.
Create a center of excellence – Expanding into global markets can be daunting and exciting. Create a core team whose sole task is to focus on global so the rest of your team can focus on delivering current results.
Hypothesize and test – When considering which geographies to enter, formulate hypotheses and test in market. Failure can be a victory if you learn what not to repeat.
Stay focused – Don’t tackle the world at once. Identify a few markets you want to enter and stay laser focused on making those a success before expanding your reach.
Think global, think mobile – The International Telecommunications Union, the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology issues, released a report called “The World in 2010.” The report indicated that access to mobile networks is now available to 90 percent of the world population and 80 percent of the population living in rural areas. They also estimated that by the end of 2010 alone, there would be 5.3 billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide. This reiterates that a mobile strategy is imperative to a global strategy.
What lessons have you learned while taking your business global?