Expanding your business abroad presents its own challenges. What regulations and tax rules will you need to factor in? How could cloud services make the process more efficient? What areas could be outsourced? Who are my competitors? Will my business model work in country X or Y? Despite the challenges, there are great rewards if you do your homework. Here are ten reasons why you should consider going global today.
1. Capture the market before your competitors do
First in first served! If your business is original and working locally, you may be able to adapt it to new markets. As an example, Uber expanded to multiple countries before enough copycat businesses could own their industry in their respective countries. Expanding as soon as your business “owns” the industry in your local market helps to keep you there. Your competitors might overthrow you at home if they extend their market footprint before you do.
2. Utilise experts and find cost savings or profit in other markets
Finding global talent is on the rise as cloud services make it easier to have employees or contractors abroad. It could also make sense to tap into the product and market knowledge of your offshore employees and help you plan a strategy to enter their own local market.
3. Take advantage of the plethora of help for startups and small-medium sized businesses
There are accelerators, incubators, crowdfunding campaigns, innovation labs, investment competitions and grants galore at the moment. It’s a competitive time but it’s also a very smart time for startups to utilise the help available while it’s such a hot topic. Planning a global expansion strategy could secure an offer of investment funding for your business if you pitch your strategy to investors and accelerators.
4. Expand and improve your product offering
By solving problems for new customers in the country you’ve expanded into, meeting these customers’ needs should indicate how you tweak your product for them. Not only do you create a viable business targeted to this new audience but your brand itself grows as product offerings increase. It’s fantastic for fostering innovation and getting fresh ideas for your business back at HQ as new ideas are tested and applied abroad, and they can then be tweaked for market back home.
5. Drive revenue growth with economies of scale
This is a no-brainer but still worth mentioning. When you increase your customer-base you generally grow revenue and what better way to increase your customer-base then expanding internationally.
6. Improve the global economy
While the word “globalisation” has a bad rep at the moment, evidence shows that countries open to international trade tend to grow faster and provide more opportunities to their populations. Businesses, as a whole who expand internationally, help the economic outlook for their localities and the markets they move into.
7. Cost-to- profit ratio can be better in other markets
By relocating a selection of your current staff in order to set up a new branch while using cloud services for IT and customer service functions, you can drastically reduce overheads. Choosing a country with a higher GDP could also help you drive profits at scale more quickly. This, combined with the low overheads, can offer a quicker profit increase than by simply expanding your business back at home.
8. Take advantage of uncertainties in currency
As small businesses planned to increase their hiring at the beginning of 2015 they can also take advantage of the economic uncertainties in the UK and Europe and look at opportunities this provides to move into new markets, that may have previously been less viable for profitability.
9. Capitalise on bulk offerings
Large companies purchase or generate their products in bulk with lower unit costs in order to distribute marketing costs across larger sales. By growing internationally you can begin to lower your overheads per customer and increase ROI.
10. Generate new sales cycles based on the lifestyles of a new customer base
New markets mean new opportunities. After all, as a swimwear brand you’re likely to generate lower revenue over winter in the northern hemisphere, while at this time of low profit each year, potential customers in the southern hemisphere are starting to look for products like yours. If you’re an online portal that offers travel discounts you might find that customers search more between May and August in the northern hemisphere and November to February in the southern. You get the picture!
When the globe is your marketplace, the world really is your oyster when it comes to business growth!