You might well be thinking about taking it up a notch and considering working on a global scale once you have established yourself as a market leader in your own country. For any business, this is a huge move, particularly if you have started it from scratch, and while it is one of the most exciting times for a business, it can be extremely overwhelming as well. We have put together a few tips to help you make the transition from a small scale to a global leader.
Is your business ready to do this?
You need to make sure that both you and your business are ready, in both a logistical and financial context, before you start the often lengthy process of going multinational. If you are not completely sure, there is no risk in hanging on a little longer, as jumping in too soon may have some detrimental effects. Remember, just because you think that in another country your product, service, or concept will prosper doesn't mean it will. Trying to scale across borders, whatever the size of the company, will always be a difficult and costly process, and it takes time and money away from other, more local opportunities and your core business operations.
Spend some time planning ahead and tracking your market share before you jump into global expansion, and try to find out whether it will help a leap into new international markets and build more long-term growth opportunities. If you believe that there is the demand for whatever it is that you sell or provide, that you have the finances to sustain the initial investment and maintain the anticipated growth, then go for it entirely. Bear in mind, though, that success is rarely immediate, so that needs to be taken into account in your plans.
Have you considered these?
Ensure you have the right structures in place to function globally. It can be difficult to set up overseas logistically, so it is crucial that the foundations are in place and robust before you even consider starting up. First of all, you need to determine the tasks and choices that are centrally controlled and made, and which can be handled at a more local level, and make it transparent to everyone concerned.
Secondly, it is important that you have perfectly clear communication between branches or departments, so take this into careful consideration. How are you going to handle the time difference?
Thirdly – have you got the physical infrastructure in place? If you need to ship items in between the locations, have you looked online to compare driving loads? Have you ensured that there is a direct transport link between the two locations? These sorts of things are often overlooked in the excitement and anticipation of expanding a business.
Being versatile and ready to adapt is the most important thing you need to do. New challenges will come with every new country you are growing into, and you need to change your business strategy to handle these.