FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD (WHO DO THEIR HOMEWORK)
This is an excerpt from a longer article published on LinkedIn by Turo CEO Andre Haddad, where he reflects on how he and the Turo team came to the decision to launch overseas. Read the full LinkedIn post here.
We just celebrated our Canada-versary — our first anniversary of launching in Canada — with a week-long fête celebrating our community and our milestones from our first 12 months north of the border. In April 2016, our launch represented two tremendous milestones: 1) Turo became Canada’s very first peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace, and 2) Canada became our first cross-border foray onto international soil.
Reflecting on our operations abroad over the last year — we also launched in the UK in December — I’ve been thinking about other entrepreneurs who might be noodling on the notion of taking their businesses overseas. When should you start considering going international? How can you overcome the barriers that may deter some cautious CEOs? How do you take the plunge, and once you’ve landed on foreign soil, then what?
These questions are not for the faint of heart. Expanding internationally is a significant milemarker in a business’ narrative — one that can make it or break it. So here are my tips from the trenches of when, why, and how to take your business international.
Jibing at home: Have you achieved product-market fit?
It can be particularly tough when you’re a startup to know when you’re ready to start expanding; you have limited resources, money, and bandwidth, and adding international expansion to your litany of priorities can seem vertiginously daunting. But there are a couple clear indicators to serve as a litmus test to gauge your readiness.
First ask yourself: have you achieved product-market fit? You must have a pretty keen sense of whether your business model has reached the level of maturity and conviction to really jibe with your core market. But assessing your product-market fit is more than a gut feeling — you’ve got to let the data drive your decision tree…