Going global

In the final episode of the Startup Series, Jacqui Ma, founder of urban bag retailer Goodordering, talks about the strategies she uses to sell to a global market.

In the final episode of the Startup Series, Jacqui Ma, founder of urban bag retailer Goodordering, talks about the strategies she uses to sell to a global market.

Knowing where your audience is - and ensuring you use the right online tools and processes to reach them - can help your business reach a global audience.

Jacqui Ma is the founder of Goodordering, which manufactures retro-style practical bags for the cycling community and families with active lifestyles. From selling her bags at market stalls, Jacqui now exports to 25 different countries.

Taking her business to a global market was a natural step for Jacqui: “I am from Australia, my partner is from Sweden. I’ve lived in lots of different countries around the world, so I guess my mindset has always been global. It’s always been a subconscious thing - borders - what are they? That has always been an inspiration for Goodordering, finding the people that like this very specific design but all around the world.”

Read on for Jacqui’s advice on how to take your products to a global market:

1. Think global - right from the start

While you may have undertaken plenty of research on your target market within the UK, it’s also worth thinking about other cities or countries across the globe with similar demographics - you might find there’s a wider market for your products. Jacqui says global expansion was a consideration right from the start for Goodordering:. “We find our target audiences in little pockets all around the world. The most similar place to Hackney in London might be Fitzroy in Melbourne or Brooklyn in New York or Berlin. It’s where people have the same sort or lifestyles.”

2. Know your audience - and the best tools to reach them

To create a global market for your products, you’ll need to identify who your target customer is and where they are likely to live. You’ll also need to choose the right tools and processes to help you reach and sell to them.  “My audience are people like freelance designers, graphic designers and architects,” explains Jacqui. “They are all over the world, so using tools like Shopify and being able to sell directly was really the key thing for trying to reach that global audience, right from the beginning.”

3. Your customers can help you spread the word

Satisfied customers can be one of your greatest assets if you’re looking for global growth - they can help introduce your products to potential stockists.

Jacqui explains: “Once those consumers are buying those one-off bags in all those different cities, then the bike shops get on board. I will ask my customers: What’s your local bike shop? Do you think your local bike shop would like my bags? They do my work for me. One customer went into her bike shop in Norway and said ‘This is a bag I bought from London’, then she gave me their contact details. I’ve got a lot of stockists that way.”

4. Targeting global franchises can help your business reach new markets

Getting your products stocked within just one outlet of global franchise is another way of exposing your brand to new markets. “Another approach that I had with going global was to work with a brand that has presence here in London but has franchises all around the world,” says Jacqui. “I got into the one in London -  and it took a hell of a lot of effort to get in there - but the domino effect of getting the attention of all the other stores from all around the world from Dubai, Melbourne, Berlin, Czech Republic has actually had a huge impact.”

5. Ensure your product is stocked in the right places

Consistency is key. Being choosy about the kind of outlets where your brand is stocked can make a real difference. Your stockists should reflect both your brand and target audience.” Now we are in probably about  25 different countries around the world in some really nice bike shops,” says Jacqui.

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