Expanding a business overseas can be an exciting prospect. Whether you have your set your sights on European, American or Asian markets, expanding globally can expose your company to millions of potential customers while offering the opportunity for growth and expansion.
However, taking your business to the international stage also comes with challenges, including cultural and language barriers. Before expanding your company globally, it is vital that business owners consider the following factors.
Business and Marketing Plans
One of the biggest mistakes business leaders make when expanding overseas is thinking they can simply replicate their current business and marketing strategies, but this is not the case. To prepare for international expansion, develop an international marketing strategy and an international business plan. For the latter, it is a good idea to create a two-year plan that includes measurable goals and tracking methods.
Carry Out Market Research
Before launching your company’s products or services, you carried out market research to assess demand, pricing and viability. This process needs to be repeated when expanding your company overseas. Ask yourself: Is there a market for your product/services? Where is your target audience? Who are your competitors? What are their pricing structures? And how much of the market share do they hold?
Meet Product Standards
While your products and packaging were created in accordance with guidelines, each country has different quality standards. As such, it is vital that you carry out research, find out if your products and packaging meet regulations for new markets, and make any necessary adjustments. Doing this work before expansion could save your company a lot of money by avoiding fines and subsequent redesigns.
Seek Professional Advice
When going global, it is important to seek professional advice. This may include an accountant (who can advise on tax), a lawyer (for issues surrounding employment law), and a financial advisor (for advise on banking in multiple currencies). Also remember to find an international courier service. It may be worth speaking to your current provider as delivery specialists like Whistl offer international courier services.
Availability of Skilled Workers
Expanding your business globally will require additional employees, so before making the move, you must ensure that your chosen location offers skilled personnel. If you expand without doing so, you could be forced to bring in staff from overseas – a costly and time-consuming process. As such, research employment rates, staff availability and wages.
While a higher number of businesses are choosing to expand overseas, going global does come with a certain amount of risk. The factors in this article should help to minimise risk and ensure that your business is prepared for new markets.