Taking your operations to foreign climbs is exciting on a number of fronts. First, it is an indication that the efforts you have made domestically have been successful and in addition, it is evidence that your company has the ambition and energy to go to the next level – but how to go about it effectively? Here we look at the advice you need when expanding your business overseas.
Do the Groundwork
Before making a commitment to overseas expansion, it is first important to do the research that will determine whether, or not, your plans are likely to be successful. This will be similar to the work you did when setting up domestically, but with a few tweaks and will feature things such as a gap analysis and a SWOT analysis. These are necessary in order to determine whether your product or service will attract demand and be able to compete abroad.
Plan Your Approach
The next step is to draw up a business plan. Define your goals and objectives and establish how you will measure your progress. Consider whether you will set up a new branch to the existing business or, alternatively, a separate business. Then, of course, both schedules and budgets need to be agreed before the expansion can actually begin.
Deploy a “Beachhead” Team
Generally speaking, it makes sense to start the expansion overseas using personnel that you already have and can trust. In the first instance, you will need to consult with legal experts like Withers Worldwide over matters regarding immigration and work visas, so that your team have a firm legal footing overseas. Once you have a team on the ground, they can start to do things like set up an office and recruit employees.
At the same time, you can begin developing and adapting the policies that the company will need to operate effectively overseas. Contacts, handbooks and compensation packages are among the documentation that will need to be considered, but in addition, setting up things like expanding your IT network and ensuring it links to the one you already have is important.
Going to Market
Before finally going to market, factors such as a local pricing strategy, a marketing strategy and logistics solutions need to be put in place in order to carve out a position in the marketplace. Much of this activity will be dictated by the type of business you are involved in, but, is crucial to success.
Expanding overseas is complex, but for many companies it is simply the next logical step forward and one that, with careful planning, they will take in their stride.