5 Steps to Expand Your Business Globally

By Ensors Chartered Accountants

Published in Suffolk Director business magazine 2019

Globalisation of businesses can be traced back to the Roman Empire. Businesses of all sizes can expand into the global market and many family businesses have grown their footprint and profits by expanding internationally.
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5 Steps to Expand Your Business Globally

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However, whilst the rewards can be great, taking your business into international markets is probably one of the most challenging steps you may take and is not for the fainthearted. So…

Here are five steps to expand your business into global markets:

1. Undertake “Deep Dive” due diligence

The due diligence will need to take into consideration the following:

     •     A SWOT analysis of your product against the local market

     •     An assessment of local demand for your product

     •     Any adjustments that need to be made to your product. For instance, to enable it to comply with regulations and packaging

TOP TIP: Engage help from experts. Small businesses are understandably reluctant to engage professionals, but to enter new markets successfully it is essential to get the right support from the start.

2. Develop a business plan

Each market has its own challenges due to local government, economics, culture, language, time zones etc. You will need to consider the different avenues to sell internationally. Options include a local distributor, online selling, establishment of a local branch or subsidiary, setting up a sales office, acquisition of a local business or a franchise. 

TOP TIP: Define your short, medium and long-term goals, objectives and success metrics and be prepared to change direction. 

3. Set up the right partners and team

Ideally you will need support from an individual who knows the local market. This could be a business mentor, or you could employ a local manager or interim manager. You could collaborate with a local business or engage a local distributor. If the new market has a different language you will ideally need someone with bi-lingual skills. 

TOP TIP: The most important thing to consider is whether you feel you can trust the local partner to both drive your business forward locally and to look after the business interests. 

4. Implement the right infrastructure

Having ascertained what management you will have locally; you will need to select and document what decisions can be made locally. You will need to determine appropriate IT and communications as well as financial and operational reporting. Data security and compliance becomes even more complex across jurisdictions.

TOP TIP: Develop local IT that is compatible and integrated with your domestic systems from the start. Consider outsourcing accounting functions.

5. Review the legal and commercial risks 

Some countries are more litigious than others and may be particularly challenging environments for overseas businesses to operate within. Local governments can insist on onerous local legal registrations. Local contracts will also be required. Immigration and customs will need to be considered.

TOP TIP: Be prepared for the unexpected obstacles and be ready to adapt your product and your business model. 

Finally, enjoy the journey!Visit ensors.co.uk or call 01473 220034

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