For many Western Small and Medium Size Enterprises /SMEs/ in general and particularly for SMEs in Western Europe with proximity to Russia, the Russian economic growth might represent an interesting opportunity for geographic diversification of business. That could help minimise the risks and consequences of possible continuous economic slowdown in the West.
The general political and economic climate in Russia experienced considerable improvements during the last 6 years and recently forms a comparatively stable and more predictable environment. As a result if a decade ago developing a market entry strategy was not feasible, as the situation was permanently changing and the data was by large unreliable, at present a professionally developed strategy could be elaborated in a reliable and professional way.
The question that arises is whether it is possible for the average Western SMEs to internationalise further its business through entering and operating successfully in the Russian market?
Unlike big corporations or furthermore Multinational Corporations (MNCs), SMEs quest for internationalisation is framed by hard limitations. This study demonstrates that entering the Russian market is not a mission impossible enterprise for Western SME provided that they have better understanding of market specifics and thoroughly prepared market intelligence and entry strategy.
A successful strategy for Western SMEs entering the Russian market should start with better knowledge and awareness of the opportunities and specifics in Russia as well as avoiding the common misconceptions about its business environment and market potential. Such a successful entry strategy should be an effort that is concentrated, focused, precise, fast and target oriented. To borrow a military term, a pinpoint operation that has to deliver results fast.
The study presents an elaborated model of what could be the proper structure and content of a well made preparation in the context of Western SMEs operational specifics and limitation of resources.
Another idea the study suggests is that the Russian million cities other than Moscow and Saint Petersburg could be an interesting opportunity for entering the market in places where competition is lower and the opportunities as a whole could be better.