Companies facing a plateau or stagnant results may see increased value following international growth. In fact, expanding overseas might be just what your business needs to succeed with companies that expand internationally seeing almost 10% more revenue growth per year compared to companies that stay in their home market. Taking your company into a different country will diversify your revenue stream and can lead to higher potential profits. In fact, a survey of international business growth found that one in five companies that expand into global markets will experience enough growth to offset any negative returns in the US. If your business is ready for international expansion, we’ve put together some important tips to consider when executing a successful international strategy.
1. Work With a Partner Who Understands the New Location:
Over 80% of small to medium enterprises in the US have international expansion at the top of their priority list. But one of the biggest challenges for businesses that move overseas is the legal issues. When you enter a different market, you will need to deal with labor laws, tax requirements, and regulations that can significantly vary from those that you are used to at home.
It’s worth partnering with a local expert who has a lot of experience navigating the local laws and regulations to ensure that your company transitions smoothly into the new market while remaining compliant. For example, if you are moving your business to Taiwan, New Horizons Global Partners is a Taiwan employer of record that can take charge of significant business processes such as finding and hiring top local talent, managing cultural, currency, and language differences and ensuring that your business remains compliant in your new market when it comes to factors such as hiring, payroll, employee benefits, tax and more. Learn more about what New Horizons Global Partners offer at this site.
2. Prepare for the Full Impact:
Moving your business to an international market is a huge task that will require a lot of preparation and thought before you’re ready to take the plunge. Before you commit to expanding your business to a new country, it’s important to thoroughly consider everything involved and conduct several internal meetings to make sure that all stakeholders including your executive team and board buy into the idea. Before making the decision to expand, consider using a range of strategic tools to help you weigh up the pros and cons of each option such as gap and SWOT analyses that will help you to determine whether or not entering a certain new market is going to be cost-effective and ultimately benefit your company’s bottom line.
3. Understand Your International Customers:
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because your customers at home like your products and services, things will be the same overseas. Cultural differences around the world can have a huge impact on the demand for certain products and services and you might find that a product that was widely successful in the US is barely generating any interest in another country. Because of this, it’s important to conduct thorough market research in the countries that you are considering expanding to in order to ensure that you have the target market. Consider customer preferences, cultural differences, and general demand for the product and service that you offer to choose a location that meets these needs.
4. Get Familiar With the New Culture:
Doing business abroad is likely going to be very different from doing business in the US – even if you’ve decided to move to a country that does not have very significant cultural differences. Almost 40% of US businesses tend to expand into the European market due to its Western culture and familiarity. However, any country is going to be different from the US and small differences can result in huge changes for your business, so it’s important to be prepared for these before entering the market. Culture isn’t just about the traditions and customs that the locals follow but it also plays a huge part in how people do business.
5. Consider International Marketing:
Learning about your international target market and the cultural differences of the place where you decide to expand your business will help you put together a strategic marketing plan that works well for the location that you are targeting. Let your customers and other businesses know that you are growing overseas and tailor your marketing plan to the locals in the areas that you want to target. Consider any differences in marketing as not everything that works well in the US will be as effective in different countries. You may find it useful to work with a local marketing firm who will be more knowledgeable about what works in a certain area and will be able to help you put together a marketing plan that will succeed.
6. Be Flexible:
International growth is certainly not easy, and you might find that during the process, you need to make some unexpected changes, or things don’t exactly go as planned. Being flexible and taking your time to adjust to the new way of doing business overseas is important for success; in fact, international growth that is too fast can often lead to failure as you do not allow yourself enough time to learn about cultural differences and ensure that your strategies and plans are working as expected.
7. Hire the Right Employees:
Whether you are considering hiring employees from the US to relocate to your new location and set up your business there or want to hire the best local talent, getting the right people on your team will make it much easier for you to facilitate a successful international expansion. This is another area where a global PEO can be very useful since it will be able to source and recruit talented employees in the local area without the barriers that you might face at home in the form of time zones and languages. You can attract the top talent to work for your business in your new location by offering an extensive package of attractive employee benefits that will appeal to local talent.
Keep cultural differences in mind when choosing employee benefits for your international team; for example, healthcare insurance might not be a very widely appealing benefit in a country that already offers some kind of national health care service.
8. Encourage Employee Engagement:
Encouraging employee engagement across teams will allow for a more collaborative and consistent experience for everybody across all locations of your business. While setting up team meetings across different time zones is not always easy, there are several things that you can do to improve collaboration and engagement between employees in different locations such as using cloud-based collaboration and communication tools for company-wide projects, allowing everybody to be updated in their own time-frame and stay in the loop even if they are working with team members who are a few hours ahead or behind.
For many businesses, expanding into a global market is the strategy that they need to boost profits and success. If your business is not growing as quickly as you hoped at home, expanding overseas could be the boost it needs. However, global expansion can be a challenging experience, so it’s important to be prepared.