I think this ONE factor gives ASX shares a huge chance to make big returns

Want strong returns? I'd look for this characteristic to help.

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I love investing in ASX shares that have lots of growth potential. Of course, we'd love all of our investments to be big winners. There's one factor that I think can really help.

When I look at some of the better performers in the S&P/ASX 100 (ASX: XTO) over the last decade, I'm thinking about names like CSL Ltd (ASX: CSL), Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG), Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL), WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC), Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), Xero Ltd (ASX: XRO), Goodman Group (ASX: GMG) and Altium Limited (ASX: ALU).

There's one element they all have in common.

International growth

The one thing that ties all of those businesses together is that they have significant international growth earnings and can grow a lot more globally.

Australia and New Zealand are great countries, but we're talking about a total population of around 32 million. There are billions more potential customers in other countries, or lots of other businesses and governments, for ASX shares to tap into.

Xero would probably be a lot smaller without its northern hemisphere subscribers and the possibility of more growth there.

Macquarie would likely be a much smaller investment bank without its operations in other regions.

WiseTech would probably be a smaller software business if it only dealt with the Australian and New Zealand divisions of the global logistics businesses.

Goodman would probably be smaller without the ability to build warehouses beyond the domestic markets it's in here.

Businesses that have a good product or service, and can successfully take that overseas, give themselves a much bigger growth runway because of the larger total addressable market.

Look for the next ASX share winners

The market is very aware of the growth story of the ASX 100 share names that I've already talked about. They can continue to do well, but they're certainly priced for the success they're expected to achieve in the short term.

I think some of the next big winners will be ones that have smaller market capitalisations but the ability to become much larger thanks to their addressable market and the trajectory they're headed in.

That's why I like names like Lovisa Holdings Ltd (ASX: LOV), Johns Lyng Group Ltd (ASX: JLG), Frontier Digital Ventures Ltd (ASX: FDV), Airtasker Ltd (ASX: ART), Siteminder Ltd (ASX: SDR) and Close The Loop Ltd (ASX: CLG).

But there are plenty of others that could deliver on their international growth potential.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has positions in Altium, Close The Loop, Johns Lyng Group, and Lovisa. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Altium, CSL, Cochlear, Frontier Digital Ventures, Goodman Group, Johns Lyng Group, Lovisa, Macquarie Group, SiteMinder, WiseTech Global, and Xero. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended Airtasker. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Macquarie Group, SiteMinder, WiseTech Global, and Xero. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended CSL, Close The Loop, Cochlear, Frontier Digital Ventures, Goodman Group, Johns Lyng Group, and Lovisa. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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