What is a Gazelle Company?
In the business world, a Gazelle Company is a high-growth business that experiences an increase in revenue of 20 percent or more annually for at least four consecutive years. These companies generally start with a revenue base of no less than one million dollars, and the growth rate clearly reveals that the company has successfully doubled its revenues during this four-year time frame. Economist and author, David Birch, first used this term in his studies about nationwide employment in the U.S., as introduced in his book published in 1987, Job Creation in America: How Our Smallest Companies Put the Most People to Work. [sg_popup id=91]
Birch stated in this book that small companies were the major new job creators in the country’s economy. He explained that, although such gazelles made up about four percent of all U.S. companies, they were responsible for creating approximately 70 percent of the total amount of new jobs. According to Birch, job creation by gazelle companies far outnumbered those generated by the Fortune 500 companies (referred to as “elephants.” or big enterprises) and Main Street (or “mice”) mom-and-pop small local businesses.¹ Today, the term gazelle company is used to refer to any rapidly growing company, and many of these top rated job creators are often in the technology business sector, although they are also found in such industries as food and beverage, apparel and various areas of retail.
Early Steps Toward Globalization by an Expanding Gazelle Company Seeking Unicorn Revenues and Status
What is a Unicorn Company?
The ultimate goal for expansion and increased revenues for many gazelle companies today is going global for the purpose of reaching the growth and status levels of a Unicorn Company, which is a company with annual revenues equaling at least one billion dollars. Many of the most successful gazelles that have used globalization to attain unicorn status are technology companies. By achieving business globalization, these companies could expand their markets more expensively while increasing revenues appreciably. One common benefit shared by most companies that expand their business options and markets globally is that the greater the market share they extend overseas, the fewer number of close competitors they will deal with in the U.S.
When you go global with your company, it is always best to avoid highly competitive markets abroad. When you enter these markets already saturated with similar companies and products to your own, you must enter on your competitors’ terms, which can be very difficult if you are not backed by extremely wealthy investors. By seeking out countries that currently buy the same volume of U.S. products and services yearly as Americans purchase from them, you and your business will be aided by the balance of trade for that particular company.
When you find a country that has a use for your brand of products, and you determine that this country offers a balance of trade without a slant against the U.S., you have taken the initial step toward realizing global growth for your company. By hiring employees with working experience in both your type of business and the country market abroad where you will be operating as a global business entity, you have started important strategies for successful globalization.
Important Factors to Get Your Company to the Next Stage in Globalization
Additional factors to focus on in your business plans for expansion and revenue growth through globalization that have enabled many gazelle companies to become globalized before becoming unicorn enterprises include the following:
- Partner Wisely. – Selecting the right translation and localization company to partner with, such as inWhatLanguage (inWhatLanguage.com), for high-quality marketing of your company brand, products, and services in another country is essential for achieving good results. Your translation and localization team must have excellent language specialists who will give ongoing attention to your marketing and promotion, sales or technical language translation in the native language of the country where you are expanding your business.
Even a slight mistake or misunderstanding in translations of marketing lingo can impede your localization project dramatically. When you have a clear and specific list of your business requirements and preferences for achieving top-tier localization in another country and culture, this will help you and other company officers choose the best team of language experts and localization professionals to do the most effective work to promote and enhance the opening of a company office in another global location.
- Achieve Coordinated Growth. – The best form of global growth for your company is coordinated growth. Before you enter any new global market or even begin implementing basic marketing strategies there, make a decision as to what type of regional strategy you will use if you exceed your initial goal once you enter your intended market.
If your business starts expanding to include clients and customers in neighboring countries, what is your next move? One fairly simple regional plan for extending your globalization strategies beyond the borders of the first country where your globalization project got its start is to focus initially on growing your company business in a region that includes a number of different countries that you know could use your brand products or services.
- Focus on Localization. – Even if you have just recently discovered the concept and working world of localization for business in your preliminary research concerning taking your company to global market locations, you most likely understand its immense value in the successful globalization of a company. Localization for global growth is the comprehensive process necessary for adapting a company brand’s products, services and related materials (like sales literature or marketing collateral) to create a native look, feel and overall familiarity to promote the acceptability of the brand and all that it offers in a global target market.
Successful localization for global growth depends on a complete understanding of the target market and the localizing company’s products and services. When totally localized, the company and brand would be a native business entity within the target market. It is helpful to note that localization is frequently written as the numeronym, “L10n,” in which the ten represents the number of letters separating the initial letter “L” and the final letter “n” in “Localization.”
Business Aspects to Focus on Before Taking Your Company to International Markets Today
Since localization for global growth can include many varied aspects of your business, you should consider different operational components in advance, including the following:
- Brand-Related Graphics and Images. – Your company-related graphics and images may be viewed and interpreted differently in global markets from the way in which they are perceived in your own local market. To form a truly effective native brand view and understanding in another country, your company photos and graphics must be adapted to the new market.
- Design and Layout for Business Collateral. – Since different languages may use diverse characters and alphabets for written language, all your brand’s collateral must be adapted to create an acceptable display in another country’s market. Unless you do this necessary adaptation, your text may not be readable by your target global market or may not fit the design and layout of its presentation.
- Accepted Local Formats. – It is important to make use of the accepted formats for every global market that you target for expansion of your business. Even languages with the same root may have different formats for addresses, phone numbers, dates or currency. This may seem like a minor issue in relation to the globalization of your company. However, unless you comply with these details, your company marketing materials will appear as quaint or unprofessional.
- Global Market Preferences. – Only by becoming familiar with the product and service preferences of consumers in your global market country and locale will you be prepared to successfully market your own brand.
- Accurate Language Translation. – Similar to creating an appropriate adaptation of your brand’s graphics and images, you must ensure that you achieve accurate translation of the context of your written marketing content to effectively convey to your global native market the true message and meaning of your business promotional campaigns. Your domestic market language must be expertly translated into the target market language to bring good results.
Natural Gravitation Toward Globalization of Companies Today
Due to the worldwide use of the Internet and digital technology today, it is much simpler and easier than ever before to carry on communications with individuals and companies around the globe. The questions of, “What is a Gazelle?” and “What is a Unicorn?” have long been explained and understood around the globe. With the availability of Skype, email, messaging and social media, there are many different ways to stay in touch with business associates and partners internationally. Communications in our fast-paced business world can be instantaneous and just as swiftly answered. This makes contact with your company’s global market locations immediate, efficient and convenient.
Whether you own and/or operate a tech company, a food, and beverage business, a retail company or another type of business that is now globalized or going global, the worldwide business climate and arena are ideal for international expansion of your business. By expanding your company reach to global markets, you will increase your profit levels and annual revenue while providing your brand’s valuable products and services to a wider and more diverse marketplace. If your business is a gazelle company, through effective globalization, you can ultimately advance to the revenue level, size, and status of a unicorn enterprise. This type of globalized expansion will help ensure the longevity and success of your company and enhance your brand’s worldwide visibility, credibility, and persona.
Are you ready to get inspired by business leaders sharing their story and talking about international growth? Check out The Global Growth Podcast and get soaked with the experiences and wisdom of international business leaders!