Going global with any company, no matter what size, is a big step. One that requires a lot of strategic planning. In order to successfully convert your business from domestic to international, there are many factors to consider. Here are the steps you need to think about before you expand your business globally.
Before undergoing international expansion, it’s important to assess potential threats or weaknesses, to ensure that your organisation can handle any adverse effects of growth. Analysis is key; including SWOT analysis, gap analysis, and market segmentation analysis.
Business Plan & Strategy
Never move forward without clear logistics and a strategy in place. A solid business plan with detailed budget and goals / objectives will help you manage your growth across national borders.
Research & Analysis
Market research is essential if you want to ensure success. Product markets will differ across the nations, meaning that every new location will require extensive study before production. Use customer analysis to determine whether your product or service will be sustainable overseas.
Advice & Support
Don’t enter into global expansion without advice, especially if this is your first time doing business abroad. International organisations (such as the International Trade Association) and governmental bodies can assist businesses in this process, so make the most of the resources available.
Investment & Finance
One of the biggest steps of turning your company into a multi-country production is to secure sufficient financial backing. While larger businesses may be able to fund their own expansion, SMEs and small businesses may need to source more capital. So be ready to pitch to investors with your robust strategy.
Assemble a dedicated team to handle all overseas operations. Select people with global experience, including senior executives who you can trust with representing your brand.
Are your products / services ready for the market? After extensive market research, you should adapt your offering to your target market and use gap analysis to ensure that you can achieve high-impact product differentiation in international waters.
When it comes to international distribution, you will need to consider various methods for their cost-effectiveness, reliability and scalability as you grow or expand further. Look at new and existing trade routes, considering everything from the logistical, tax and legal implications.
Human Resource Management
Hiring abroad means being aware of tax and payroll laws around the world. Make sure you establish an experienced HR team to handle employee wages and taxes, and be sure to have a good international legal team in place.
Understanding differences of culture may be one of the biggest human challenges that you will face as you expand globally. Prepare your organisation for cultural shifts and be well educated before you dive head first into an overseas office. Good planning is the best way to prevent too much of a culture shock.