Lessons Learnt – Expanding Your Business To Mexico

lessons learned expanding business into mexico and latin america

As the business world becomes more and more competitive, finding ways to get ahead of rival companies and stand out from the crowd can be tough. Indeed, online giants like Amazon are taking customers away from bricks and mortar businesses, whilst small and medium companies have the added pressure of increasing business costs and the threat of automation. 

If you’re a business owner ready to take on a new challenge and want to ensure the future of your brand, then one option that you could consider is an international expansion. Opportunities in countries across Asia and Latin America are just too good to ignore - with Mexico a particular favourite among Western business owners in Canada, Australia, the United States and the UK. In this article, we give you a five-step guide on expanding in Mexico and speak exclusively to Craig Dempsey, the CEO of Biz Latin Hub, who shares his tips on maximising your potential. 

Step 1: Make Sure You’re Compatible 

If you spot a competitor entering a new market, it can be tempting to assume that your business can do the same without hassle - but as Craig Dempsey says, founder of leading back-office provider Biz Latin Hub, it’s important to know that your business is compatible. “Markets in Latin America can be incredibly complex - a product or service that works well in one country may not translate well when exported. It’s always good to do your market research before you get started and have a clear understanding of your target audience. The average American is so different from the average Mexican - attitudes, values, salaries, lifestyles and more - and because of that, their needs are very different, too. Although expanding into a new country like Mexico is much cheaper than it was several years ago, it’s still an investment and carries risk, so it’s essential you know exactly what you’re getting yourself in for before you get started.” 

You could ‘test the waters’, so to speak, by launching an ecommerce store and marketing your products and services using online advertising through Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. That way, you’ll be able to test the demand and ensure people are truly interested in what you have to offer. The last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars setting up offices in Mexico and promoting a new product, only for it to flop and for you to lose out on huge potential revenue streams. Be sensible, take your time and understand the risks before you get any further afield. 

Step 2: Find The Right Partners 

As an entrepreneur, you’ll know that there are lots of ups and downs. You might struggle to find new staff, your new product may bomb when you expected it to make you your first million, or you might find it hard to stay motivated. One of the ways to combat these issues and ensure you’re on to a winner when expanding into a new territory is to find partners to help you on your journey. Of course, you can rely on the staff at your place of work, like your senior managers and executives, but working with people who have a clear understanding of the new market is essential if you want to be successful. If not, you’ll be going in blind and might even lose money. 

Craig says that for businesses to succeed in a market like Mexico, “it’s important to work with a real local expert. You not only have the issue of language barriers and cultural barriers, but you must also think about things such as company incorporation Mexico-based, as well as securing interviews with local business owners and potential new employees. There are lots of ways to find people who are willing to help. Dedicated companies are on hand, and you could also think about partnering with a local business who offers similar products and services. That way, you will reduce the risk on your side, and have an established partner and brand who can help to put your products and services in front of a whole new audience, without the need for expensive marketing campaigns. As always, weigh up the pros and cons of all options before deciding.” 

Step 3: Understand The Competition 

Getting to grips with your competition is critical if you want to thrive in a new territory. You not only have to worry about Mexican brands offering the same products, but also international brands who are expanding into the country. And because Mexico is a traditional family-oriented country, locally established brands are much more likely to perform well, so you’ll have to work twice as hard to convince people to try out your products and services. Take time to get to know what your competition is doing, whether that’s a social media campaign, hosting their own event or delivering unbeatable customer service, and do the same as them - or better, if you can! 

“You really do need to visit Mexico and see these companies for yourself first-hand”, Craig says. “It’s not enough to simply Google Mexican competitors and expect to understand what you’ll be facing, so make the effort to do some groundwork and research into what’s working in Mexico.” 

Step 4: Localise Your Products And Services 

Mexico has an English proficiency score of 51.57, which is average in Latin America and slightly below the global average. If you want to reach as many people as possible, invest in translation. Not only do your products and services need to be localised, but you also need to think about employee manuals, customer handbooks and your terms and conditions. Rather than copying and pasting the same content from English-speaking countries, work with a respected translator and lawyer to ensure you’re meeting local regulations. This may take time and be expensive, but in the long-run, it’ll be worth it and ensure your messages are clear and easy to understand. 

Step 5: Get Ready For Launch 

Once you’ve got your products ready and you’ve built a team of local experts, it’s time to launch your business in Mexico. Mexico currently has approximately 85 million internet users, so use social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to run advertising campaigns, and set up a new website in Spanish. Mexico is the fifth largest market in the world for Facebook, with more than 50 million users, so think about Facebook Advertising to take your brand to the next level, and work with a local marketing agency who will be able to craft a message that has a real impact. 

Whether Mexico is your first country of expansion or you’re a seasoned professional, we wish you the best of luck with your strategy. Remember that as an entrepreneur, you have to take risks if you want to be rewarded, so don’t be afraid of going against the grain to get results.


I hope you enjoyed this blog post about how your business can expand and grow into Mexico and Latin America.

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