I have up to recently been living in Vilnius, Lithuania, and developing my company Imaginess. That was of course not the sole reason for me being there – it was of course because of my Lithuanian fiancée.

We just moved to Copenhagen and continue running the company.

As I was in Lithuania, which is a “emerging market”, I was looking around and considered many business concepts and models that had great success in Denmark and considered if the same success could be gained in this market.

I believe many entrepreneurs and companies have used this tactic – but not always with equal success. It is surely not given, what works in one country also works in another.

There are a few fits that needs to be considered. Some are:

- Culture

- Technology

- Need

- Competitors/substitutions

- Size

An example of a “business transition trap” is the huge market for web shops in Denmark. Everybody buys all kind of stuff online. In Lithuania only a very small percentage have a credit card that can be used to paying online. Often people borrow credit cards to be used.

Many people walk around with debit cards which cannot always be used as payment online. This is a significant risk and challenge for any online business in Lithuania.

Seeing at Lithuania, the biggest general challenge for many West European business models is the size and purchase strength of the businesses and consumers in the country. Only a very limited amount of the 3.5 million people have the money to buy things more than basic needs.

So from this can be learned. Going to an emerging market can be tough. Sometimes the business will have a tough start as the technology and growth (purchase power) emerges. But first mover advantage is always a big strength toward coming competitors. With a long enough horizont, this is mean the difference between failure and succes.