There has never been a time like now for global expansion. The growth of digital systems has broken down many barriers to doing business internationally. Business success can also depend on your ability to scale quickly. Depending on the size of your home country, it may be necessary to look at global expansion quickly otherwise you just won’t get the growth you need to be sustainable. Most European companies expand 19 times faster than their American counterparts. This is mostly out of necessity as their home countries are small and don’t provide the sort of opportunities that an American market would.
Global expansion should be at the forefront of your mind, not an after thought once you feel you have exhausted your home country opportunities. But of course it does come with a lot of challenges and there is lots to consider.
So, how do you know that you are ready to start rolling out your business to other countries?
1. Plan, research and be prepared
Successful international expansion demands significant planning, research and preparation. In order to expand efficiently, you have to have a solid entry strategy. A good starting point is to ask yourself:
- What can you offer to a foreign market?
- Do you have the necessary resources to make it successful?
- Does your team have the right mindset to go global?
- Are you familiar with the business and economic rules of the foreign country you are looking to embark and ready to overcome cultural barriers?
Think through all possible scenarios and do as much as you can to understand the market you're entering.
2. What are the rules?
Diving deeper you should become familiar with each countries set of rules and regulations. There are business regulations, tax codes, legal standards and employment laws. Make sure you do your homework and know what you will be required to do. Get the paperwork sorted so that when you are ready to launch you aren’t going to be held back by red tape. Speaking to a professional services firm with experience in helping people setup globally at this point in time will help cut through the red tape and answer your pressing questions.
3. Think Global, Act Local
Each country is different and while you might have one product, you need to make sure that it is customised to fit the local culture. For example you should have advertising and imagery that reflects the local culture. You may also need to tweak your product to fit. For example if you have a software product for accounting, it will need to be adjusted so that it reflects foreign taxes and foreign currency.
Make sure you do your homework on the local culture, customs, languages and competitors in that market and then adjust your offering to hit the mark.
Today’s world has so much potential for business expansion, so make sure you think big. Look at your product, even in the early days and consider how far you can expand your reach. Take the time to invest in infrastructure and localise your approach. Once you have successfully broken into one or two other countries you will have a well rehearsed process that you can then expand even more rapidly into other markets. The world is your oyster.
4. Document your processes for next time
It's likely that once you have entered one country your probably considering your next move. Whilst rolling out your first global office, prepare a well documented plan that can be utilised for your next launch. Noting that this will not only save you an enormous amount of time but will help in streamlining the steps needed for a successful new venture.
If you need a hand with global expansion...
Azure Group has built a strong reputation for assisting Australian businesses who want to set up overseas and also for offshore clients set up operations in Australia. It can be hard to find the right support and an accounting firm with this sort of experience so feel free to reach out if you are wanting advice in this space.
Azure Group also sit on the board and are a founding member of XLNC an international alliance of accountants and lawyers with global representation. We have direct relationships with our global partners and an introduce you to the right firm that can help you enter into international markets.