5 things to consider if you’re expanding your business overseas

1st December 2017

If you’re considering expanding your business overseas here are a few things you might want to bear in mind.

  1. What are your company goals?

To begin with, you need to consider your company goals. You should create a new business plan to outline the intentions of your international expansion and what you hope to achieve by making this move. A thorough plan will help you to consider whether the positives outweigh the negatives and if the projected return on your investment will all be worthwhile.

  1. Will it be cost-effective?

Can the expansion you wish to achieve be done without too much financial disruption to the business? There are a few areas in which you can curb costs, for example when making international calls you might want to choose a company that offers cheap phone broadband. Similarly, when shipping abroad make sure that you keep an eye out for any hidden costs that might be imposed on you after it’s too late. It’s a good idea, begin with a test venture so that you can see whether or not you’ll be making any losses.

  1. Is your market going to change?

Before you commit to overseas expansion, you’re going to need to consider where your product or services will be best suited. If you have business intelligence in place already your decision will be easier to make. If not, you will need to conduct market research to gather this information. You can always seek advice from expert business support professionals who will know how to operate a business in your country of choice.

  1. What barriers might you face?

Alongside the potential advantages of overseas expansion, you’ll need to consider what barriers you might face. For example, language is bound to play a huge role in business transactions so you may need to seek new employees that can assist in communications. You’ll also need to think about certain practicalities such as whether or not you want a physical base and personnel in the country in question or whether you plan to hire freelancers. It’s important that you know what the legal requirements of the new country are, as some of them can be a lot stricter than what you’re used to in the UK.

  1. Will it ultimately benefit the business?

Ultimately, the decision will boil down to whether or not an overseas expansion will benefit your business. If all goes well, you’ll be presenting your business to an entirely new market with the potential of bringing new customers on board but what if the return on investment will be better if you stay at home? It’s certainly a risk, but it’s up to you whether you think that it’s one worth taking.

As with everything, an overseas expansion is not going to happen overnight, and you need to be willing to give it a lot of time, attention and patience. By seeking advice from the right people and opting for the best resources, you’ll stand a better chance of making it a success.

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