Going global is both exciting and daunting for any business. While a world of opportunity awaits – so do numerous challenges.
Want to make the big leap but aren’t sure where to begin? These ten tips will guide you on the journey of expanding your business globally before you get the ball rolling.
There’s plenty to sort out when it comes to expanding your services abroad and it can get complicated when you’re trying to manage matters in another country, especially if it’s in another time zone. If you’re hoping to break America, opt for a management service like Foothold America. They can simplify the process of hiring a worker in the US – helping you to cut the paperwork and legal expenses. Any help you can get to understand the different rules in your target country will be highly worthwhile.
Where should you expand to first? You might get an inkling that somewhere is right based on your enquiries or the operations of a competitor, for example, but don’t rely on your gut to tell you where to take your business. It’s time to think deeply about the location that best suits your product or service – and think strategically about where to go first. Analyze the market, delve more deeply into the actions of your competitors and think about the target audience.
In-depth market research should be your first port of call when it comes to getting a detailed plan put in place. It’ll allow you to discover the latest trends and popular brands at the moment, building on your initial understanding. Just Entrepreneurs recommends undertaking both primary and secondary research, including analyzing existing data as well as assessing the active competition currently in the market. Don’t just look to back up your assumptions – be prepared to change your plans if you find out something that is surprising.
Learn the lingo:
A message that works for British people may not work in another language or another culture, so learning the lingo is important. Look at the terminology regularly deployed in your market and the tone of voice of marketing materials from competitors. It’s always important to check the translations of your branding too to ensure it doesn’t have a negative connotation in that country, as recommended by Virgin.
Once you’ve researched the market and made sure you had appropriate branding, take another look at your business plan. Detail your annual budget and goals to help you stay on track over the year – and consider a bespoke plan for each expansion location. Make it detailed and focus on the unique parts of your business, exploring how it’ll offer a different service to the competitor. Make your goals realistic while aiming high, referring back to them often to ensure you’re heading in the right direction.
Culture and benefits:
You’d be shocked at how different cultures can be even if the other country’s main language is the same. America is a great example of an English speaking country that has an entirely different working culture. Not only do they have completely different rules in terms of days off and working conditions, but there’s also a difference in the way American staff speak to one another when compared to Brits. It’s important to know these things when expanding so you know how to attract the right type of staff, as well as understanding their legal rights.
It may be tempting to leave your digital branding alone, but that risks missing out on talking to your new customers in an appropriate way. Setting up separate social media accounts for different countries and posting in their language will allow you to reach a different audience. You can use the same website and use a setting that allows the user to switch languages as they please. Get a native speaker to check it all over before making it live to avoid any translation mishaps.
Sometimes things just don’t go to plan, but being prepared gives you something to fall back on during stressful times. From overspending on your budget to teething troubles in your new country, organizing back-up plans in advance will help you decide what to do next when the unexpected happens.
Renting an office in the centre of any city can be costly, so why not explore the areas around it? You may find a remarkably cheaper base at the outskirts of the city that has great public transport so you can still head to client meetings in the centre. Speak to any contacts you may have from the area to get an insight into the cost of running a business in the main city before looking at cheaper towns nearby.
As mentioned, a management service can help you tackle many of the legalities that come with expanding business globally. Its recommended that you check up the GOV.UK information on this to give you a better idea of what you’re getting involved with. From tax to financial tips, it’s a great source of information for UK businesses looking to go overseas.