New markets and access to fresh talent. The chance to diversify product ranges and introduce additional revenue streams.

Global expansion is essential for business growth and can open up a world of opportunities.

But it can also be chaotic and highly stressful — particularly without a clear direction and roadmap for getting there. So, before you tackle your expansion into international territories, make sure you’ve got a proper plan in place.

Here are our top considerations for developing your global expansion strategy

Remember to audit

Before you decide where you’re going, you first need to know where you’re at right now. An internal business audit can guide you and address every turn, pit stop and potential speedbump you’re likely to encounter along your overseas expansion journey.

But, unfortunately, what works in one country doesn’t always work in another. You can’t just copy and paste your existing processes and expect identical results in the new market.

This means your global expansion strategy must include an adapted business model that aligns with your target market’s projected value (i.e. why you chose to expand there) as well as its culture and practices.

To do this, you must take the time to review and test the feasibility of your current infrastructure and operations in this new location — and figure out how to tweak them to make them work.

Define your product offering

As well as considering how your infrastructure and operations will work in another market, you also need to look at your product or service offering.

Just because a product is thriving domestically, doesn’t mean it will do well overseas. From cultural differences and language barriers to an already saturated market, there are plenty of reasons why a product might flop.

A clear product or service strategy will help you define yourself in the new market — which, in turn, helps potential clients or customers understand who you are and what you offer.

Start by carrying out a gap analysis to see if the products or services your business provide are currently underserved in your target market. Then, using associates on the ground, test the product in the country to determine if any adjustments are needed. When aligning your product or service with your target location, it’s essential to consider cultural nuances to ensure your business is perceived in the right way.

Take a lean approach

Many business owners like to play the wait-and-see game. But if global expansion is the end goal, a reactive strategy won’t serve you well.

Instead, you should be proactive and plan a long-term strategy that anticipates any hurdles you’re likely to encounter along the way. The best global expansion strategies are adaptive and thoughtful. They require diligence, commitment and detailed research.

You should also be entering new territories with a lean approach and a light footprint — holding off on infrastructure investments and hard costs until your business has matured in the market.

That being said, human capital is priceless. Local employees can help you evaluate market penetration plans, fine-tune your strategy and identify untapped opportunities.

Pick the right partner

Even with a robust expansion strategy in place, international markets can be difficult to crack. Maybe you’re not sure where to find the best talent. Or perhaps you don’t have the understanding of the local culture needed to drive demand for your product or service. Then there are also the issues of human resources, payroll and compliance to think about.

An international Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) can support your business’ expansion into the global market — offering a one-stop solution to every issue preventing you from taking the leap overseas.

At TopSource Worldwide, we cover a huge range of territories to help you unlock business across the world. We handle all aspects of employment — from HR, payroll and legal to employee benefits and everything else you need to consider for your global expansion journey.

Ready to take the plunge? Let us become a trusted part of your business. Contact us today to find out more about our international employment services.

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Published On: 16/11/20Last Updated: 14/09/22

About the Author: Sam Barnes

Sam is our Global Business Development Manager for Employer of Record services. For the last 10 years, he has assisted companies in the successful execution of their international expansion plans. Sam tells us “There’s something inherently exciting about growing a business into overseas jurisdictions. Each country does things slightly differently and it’s great to be able to share learnings on statutory requirements and cultural nuances”. Email: sam.barnes@topsourceworldwide.com

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