Don’t get stuck thinking small

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Traditional business textbooks suggest that it’s logical to build your presence at your home market first and then expand abroad. There’s less risk, fewer resources needed, less research that needs to be carried out; it’s a “risk-averse” strategy, or in some cases probably a “smart” strategy. In a Clarkson (2015) article on how to start a global business, the Founder of Virgin, Richard Branson, states that “launching your brand overseas will be hugely expensive, and finding distributors and retailers that are willing to take on an unknown brand will be extremely difficult”, so in other words, first start local and build a strong brand presence at home.

But why do some companies go big before they go home? Why did Funzi?

Well, there are several reasons, but for us, the main driving factor is our mission to spread learning to everyone, everywhere. We needed to make an impact on a global scale, and the need is greater elsewhere than in our home market of Finland. Our goal is to make a difference every single day, from day one. So how can we achieve our mission? Definitely not by thinking small. Being an ICT company that offers online solutions, there are limitless opportunities for us to make an impact thanks to the Internet. We are no longer bound to where our offices are based. We can gather talents from around the world, sell our solutions to global markets, develop a marketing strategy directed at a global audience... but, we cannot allow ourselves to forget this golden rule of thumb…

Think global, and act local.

“If you build a local solution to a local problem, you can’t scale it. If you want to succeed globally, you need to develop a global solution that works everywhere and solves global problems. Design and build for global, but make sure that you’re locally relevant”, remarks Founder and Chief Evangelist at Funzi, Aape Pohjavirta.

Here at Funzi, we’ve realized that if you start out in one single market, you’re most likely going to get tied down to that market. This can result in spending months of your time figuring out how to deal with a problem that may end up being insignificant on a global scale.

However, it’s important to realize that a huge mission can become very overwhelming. You need to have a clear compass in your mind; break down tasks into manageable chunks. Make sure even the small things you do every day take you at least baby steps towards your grander mission.

So if you currently find yourself at this stage in founding your company, revisit your mission statement. What is the purpose of your product or service? Answer the “why”: Why are you doing this? The next question for you to figure out is “how”: How can you get there? The clearer your goal, the more easily you can answer this question. Can I achieve this goal by staying home, or going big? In the end, it’s up to you to decide!


Phuong Tran
Marketing & Communications at Funzi.
Passionate about sharing beautiful stories of inspiring people.