The advent of the internet age has made it easier than ever for companies to expand their borders, working around the globe. International expansion is important for companies around the world, and making that switch can take your business to the next level.
Right now, 72% of small business executives expect to take on new international customers. Upward of 43% are expanding their businesses for access to higher-quality suppliers and vendors, while 42% are seeking higher-quality talent in global markets. Does your company have what it takes to go global? Review our global expansion checklist to see the factors you need to consider when expanding your business internationally.
What to Consider Before Expanding
There are four major criteria you need to consider before making the first steps toward global expansion: culture, legal barriers, government procedures and business cases.
First, look at your own culture and the cultures in the markets where you’d like to expand. Does the product or service you offer add value to local markets? Have you taken the time to understand the people living in that community?
Next, look at the legal and regulatory barriers you might face during your expansion. Can your business work within local laws and regulations? Do you have a legal team in place that can review and identify possible barriers you could encounter?
Local government procedures are also a challenge you may end up facing during your expansion phase. What are the currency exchange rates? Can you gain access to the necessary resources and materials in your new area, or will you need to source these elsewhere? Are there any protection policies for businesses that you’ll need to be aware of?
Finally, make a case for your business. Can you provide justification for undertaking this expansion? Is your business capable of responding positively to the challenges of overseas expansion? Before you make that leap, consider performing market and financial feasibility studies to ensure you’re ready to tackle any challenges that might occur.
Your International Business Expansion Checklist
Now that you know what you need to consider before taking your business global, what belongs on your expansion checklist? Here are a few tasks to add to your international business expansion plan:
- Collect data and analyze the market.
- Define goals and develop a high-level strategy.
- Select an expansion strategy.
- Prepare your product for the new market.
- Adapt your company’s organizational structure.
- Define your localized marketing strategy.
- Set up compliant legal processes.
- Prepare tax and financial statements and processes.
- Define your budget.
- Network with local businesses.
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but it provides the foundation for most global expansion plans. If you want to make sure you’re taking each step correctly, we’ve created this international expansion checklist for you and your leadership team.
Also – learn what NOT to do when expanding globally with our “10 International Expansion Mistakes to Avoid” eBook.