How to expand your company into a new market
There are many different reasons why you may want to expand your business into a new country. There may be significant interest in your product from that market, which you’re keen to exploit. Alternatively, there may be a highly skilled workforce in that market that you’d like to tap into. Whatever your reasons may be, expanding your operation across international borders is a huge step, and there’s plenty of things you’ll need to consider before taking the plunge.
Be aware of cultural differences
Before you expand into a new market you need to do some serious research into the cultural differences between the country you operate, and where you’re setting up shop. If you’re not sensitive to the business customs of your new market, you’ll struggle to get anywhere. You can have a great business plan, amazing staff, and a stellar product, but if you’re committing massive cultural faux pas constantly, you may offend any potential clients and struggle to make much progress. A good way to avoid this is to hire a member of staff who is bilingualand can understand the nuances of the business world in both markets.
Work on infrastructure
Setting up a branch of the business in another country can be a logistical nightmare. There are a plethora of issues that need to be ironed out before you can set up another office abroad. For example, you need to make sure that the satellite office feels empowered to make decisions, can access the company servers without breaching data protection laws. Sorting all of these issues out beforehand will make the launch of your new office go much more smoothly.
Find the right lieutenant
When you expand into a new market, you’ll need someone in that country who is the head of operations there. Whether you ask a trusted employee to relocate or hire someone who lives there already, this needs to be someone highly competent. Crucially, they should also be someone you can trust. You can’t keep across everything that’s going on in another office in another country, so you need to know that the boss has got everything under control. Equally, they will likely be in charge of making hires in the new market, so you need to know that they can hire staff who will help drive the business forward. This is one of the most important hires you’ll make in your career. Get it right, and you’ll thrive in your new market. Get it wrong and your expansion could be doomed to fail.
Don’t get caught out by currency exchange
Forex trading – more commonly known as currency exchange – is the method by which individuals and companies trade one currency for another. Since you’re getting set up in a new country, you need to have a concrete understanding of the market for the two currencies you’ll be working with. Getting a bad deal on currency exchanges can cost your business dearly if you’re not careful. Keep tabs on the current exchange rates between the two currencies, so you know how much you should be paying when you make an exchange, and avoid losing money.
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