As a business builder, it is not enough to decide who is your ideal client and how much revenue you want to generate. You must also determine whether your company will specialize in a niche industry or have a more general focus. How will it compare to others in that sector? Is your aim to dominate the market and lead your competitors, or to carve out a comfortable space for your organization and strive to meet internal goals?

Dictating the place your company will take in its sector requires you to decide how far you want the business to reach and set one-, five- and 10-year goals to get to that point. If you have dreams of building a multinational organization, you will need to adjust your ideal client profile as well as your sales and marketing strategies in order to secure clients across the globe.

As that plan unfolds, you will need to address additional factors, such as how many offices you will open to support the growing client base, the number of employees you will hire to serve your clients and the structure you will build to manage your capital and human resources.

The issue of creating a global strategy reminds me of a piece published in the MIT Sloan Management Review last year. Chris Carr and David Collis discuss some of the competing theories surrounding the global economy, namely whether a company should expand beyond its domestic market and when it should do so. For business owners intent on growing in industries that are already highly concentrated, Carr and Collis name a few methods that firms have used to become major players in their fields. The authors note that innovation (in the vein of Google and Microsoft) or consolidation through mergers and acquisitions (as occurred in the beer industry) can help pave the way for multinational dominance. Likewise, leveraging scale and specialization at home before expanding abroad may be a strategy for success, they note.

Planning is essential

Regardless of how you decide to position yourself in your industry, understand that advance planning and patience will be integral to your success. If you wish to specialize in a niche market, consider what is required to gain expertise in that subject, run a sustainable operation and differentiate yourself from competitors.

For those who aim to become dominant players in their field, take time to carefully consider the risks and rewards rather than haphazardly expanding your operations. Map out the barriers to entry in new markets and devise your strategy for overcoming those obstacles.