When should your business consider expanding into international markets?

By: Rachael Matthews

Date: 8 April 2019

Two mini forklift trucks move cardboard boxes and pallets to represent international tradeWhen a business is performing well, it's only natural to want to start expanding. If you've already expanded and got the very best out of your local market, the next logical step is to consider taking your business overseas.

If you think you're ready to start making the move into international markets, there are a few things that you need to consider first. Take a look at our advice below and use it to figure out exactly how and when you should make the leap further afield.

Consider expanding into international markets…

When you have a clear financial plan in place

In order to be successful overseas, you need to have a well-thought-out financial plan in place to cover all costs from marketing and logistics and a contingency for when things don't go quite to plan. Obviously, that doesn't mean you won't enjoy success, but before starting a new venture you should have a fall-back plan. You need to weigh up all the challenges and risks and have the right capital and financial support to face everything that might be thrown your way.

When you've taken the time to build relationships

It will be almost impossible to have an impact on international markets if you haven't already started building relationships with influencers and other like-minded entrepreneurs in your chosen field. Gain knowledge and information from them and turn to them for support if need be. You never know, if you build a strong enough relationship with them, they could become a mentor or, better still, a potential business partner.

When you can get a team on board

You might think that hiring overseas employees is going to be a tricky process, but it certainly doesn’t need to be. For example, if you’re planning on breaking into the US market, you can set up a Foothold America subsidiary, where they’ll help you every step of the way when it comes to finding the right people and managing their files. It’s a challenging but exciting time ahead, so make use of the companies that can make things as stress-free as possible for you.

When you've carried out the necessary market research

Just because your business is doing well at home doesn't necessarily mean it will be an immediate success overseas. Do some serious research into the market that you're looking to enter and make certain that your business is going to be well received there too. There's no point investing time, effort and money making the move if the business is just going to flop almost as soon as you get started.

When you've stopped to consider cultural barriers

Launching your business overseas won't be as straightforward as it was launching it at home. There are different barriers that you need to take into consideration, such as language and culture, which might affect the way you can or should run things. Work life and office life can be different abroad and that might not be the only thing you need to think about. You might have to change your approach to marketing too, in order to reflect the cultural beliefs of your new market.

When it comes to expanding internationally, consider these points to ensure the move is as smooth as possible.

This article was made possible by site supporter Rachael Matthews.

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