Every ambitious business owner hopes to expand their operations over time. Opening new branches and bringing on new staff for the first time is an exhilarating experience and something to be proud of. Expanding operations overseas is an even greater challenge, but one with huge potential rewards.
Here are four things that any entrepreneur needs to consider before they commit to overseas expansion.
Few businesses will decide that it’s time to expand their operations overseas without a good idea of exactly where it is that they plan on expanding their operations to. There is a multitude of potential reasons that a particular destination might have been chosen. In some cases, a location will be chosen purely for business reasons.
However, many people who have emigrated from their home country or the children of parents who are immigrants choose to expand their business to a new territory that they have links to.
Whatever the reason for choosing a destination, you need to make the same considerations. No matter how personally attached you might be to a particular area, it is crucial that you are realistic in your plans. Make sure that the local economy is suitable for your type of business and is relatively stable politically and economically.
The other key factor in your overseas expansion, other than the place you will be expanding to, is the budget you have to play with. As with all things in business, the bigger your budget, the more freedom you will have. Expanding your business overseas will inevitably incur some new expenses that you aren’t used to, such as local charges and taxes that don’t apply in your home country.
Whether you are expanding overseas or at home, it is essential that you ensure you have a healthy budget. If you try to expand your business too fast, the results can end up being fatal.
In order to ensure that you are able to make the move overseas without having to break the bank, it is often helpful to hire someone with local experience. Where there are gaps in the local labor market, you may find it more efficient to outsource certain roles.
If you are willing to do some digging, you can often find business services from businesses that specialize in assisting foreigners to find their business foothold in a country. For example, Triforce’s SunSystems is an all-in-one accounting system for manufacturing in Thailand. Triforce have experience rolling out these software systems across the Asia Pacific region, which could be invaluable for your business.
Outsourcing is an excellent way of keeping your business costs as low as possible. It has also never been easier to outsource a role in your business to a third-party. Not only does this reduce your workload, but it also allows you to access skills and services that would be too costly to purchase outright.
If you plan properly for your business’ move overseas, it could well end up being one of the most satisfying experiences of your life. However, even with the most meticulous planning, operating overseas is not easy. Be prepared for a real, but worthwhile, challenge.