Many small‐ and medium‐sized firms lack the resources to conduct adequate foreign market research. Inexperienced managers often do not know where to begin. Once the decision has been made to investigate foreign opportunities, the new‐to‐international manager is faced with more than 200 alternative potential markets. Internationally experienced firms have a shorter list of alternatives because they are already operating in some of these markets, yet the number of possible alternatives is likely to exceed 100 countries. It is not feasible to fully assess all these alternatives. A more practical approach is to begin by screening these alternatives in order to identify a small number of potential markets. Subsequent to screening, potential markets should be subjected to an in‐depth analysis of cultural, legal, local cost, intermediary availability, and other vital environmental conditions.
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