Whose business is it?
"I don't care about the rules. In fact, if I don't break the rules at least 10 times in every song then I'm not doing my job properly." Jeff Beck (of Yardbirds fame)
You are the one on the hook. It's your money; your Board to keep happy; your banker to comfort, etc. You need to decide the best approach for your business.
There is no dearth of hackneyed common wisdom which will tell you that a rigorous technical analysis must be undertaken before any other steps. But is that so? Certainly you must not be cavalier with resources....but could following the traditionally scripted approach potentially squander time without conserving cash?
Experience Some Markets
Certainly your wouldn't climb aboard a plan as your literal first step. You need to somehow decide where you are going. But diving too deeply into the process with unchallenged assumptions and relying on "National Geographic" impressions of markets is sure to lead to squandered resources - most notably time.
A flexible process (like the Consilium Method) provides guidelines to accommodate proven practices, yet simultaneously affords room for creative approaches (even parallel initiatives in different phases) to meet your requirements.
So it may make perfect sense, after an accelerated initial review of potential, to schedule a trip. Let's take 10 days and travel together. If you have existing overseas business, let's have dinner with some of your key channel partners to explore what's good, what's not, what's broken or missing, etc.
Let's also schedule several Gold Key Service sessions in seemingly strong potential markets. Maybe we pick a couple of the CIVETS (Colombia, Vietnam, Turkey and Indonesia are particularly appealing for most companies after analysis) and toss in one of the dynamic African markets (read here why Business Monitor International predicts that Nigeria's capital markets will soon be "world class") and a traditional Western European market. You'll return from that trip far better prepared to engage collaboratively in our global business development effort.
Bold but sensible approaches are required to successfully penetrate global markets. Contradictory simultaneous requirements for patience (substantial returns take time) and assertive approaches can feel confusing. But in a business world characterized by its daily grind, creative work developing your global business portfolio cna be an exciting and invigorating change of pace.....and a profitable one.
Don't just adhere to common wisdom - find an employee or adviser with the creativity, experience and business acumen to assist.