Foreign or Local Customers, More?

For the past days, as I had been travelling and getting the chance to meet business owners, seeing all the different types of sectors and also in preparatory for the World Economic Forum, I do understand that there are some businesses having above 80-90% overseas businesses compared to local content.

Is that good or bad, I had asked myself this question?

3 things.

#1. It all depends on the strategic business model – where the commercialisation part of the business can be realised to its full potential and the derived net profit margin can be obtained.

Do you have a product that’s unique to that particular geography?


The Finnish IT group of companies that I was in, provided server storages in nuclear bunkers hidden in underground caves where the cool temperature is kept constant and in the event of epic disaster, the data is safer than the *ahem* humans. Who would commonly want to utilise them?

If there are more local interest compared to overseas interest and the per unit of common currency for the single unit of time for each sales can be closed in quick cycle, then local content should be given more emphasis.

#2. Don’t get too fixated over permanent addresses unless you are into real estate properties.

Marketing plans must be fluid enough to align according to the customers’ needs and wants. If the customers’ needs is not present, then one has to ask whether the value added activity intends to benefit the customer and oneself.

If your model is static, most likely your strategies can be easily copied, replicated and responded to.

Thomas L. Friedman had said, The World is Flat. I tend to agree with his perspective.

#3. What business are you in?

Quick analysis tools such as SWOT analysis, Porter’s Theory would give you an overall idea, what’s the market situation for your type of products.

  • Whether its blue ocean or red ocean.
  • Whether you are keen on passive, active income as your investment strategy.
  • Whether some of the products are the rising star, cash cow, a question mark or have gone to the dogs.

Speed and timing are vital and cannot be further emphasised. The right communicative tools or channels are also important as competitors will not be idle.


At the end of the day, it all depends on situations and whether the product itself is unique and intellectually protected.

If its common enough, then one would try to increase and defend its quality, raise its brand awareness and increase the stakes for new market entrants to find it more difficult to enter.

Strategically, speaking – often Generals would position themselves on higher grounds from their enemies and with the sea or river away from their back.

But with technology intervention and good strategic mindset, there are those that can see an outcome to a battle and these rare few, can master their businesses – in both the local and overseas front simultaneously.

Then that organisation, is indeed a home-grown, world beater.


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