Historically, expanding and opening an international office was something reserved solely for the largest conglomerates and multi-million dollar companies. This, however, is no longer the case. Thanks to the Internet, you can now easily research a foreign market and make some reliable local contacts. Furthermore, you can get in touch with people who do this sort of thing in a foreign country or use your online resources to see if there is a government grant or incentive that would make this investment worth your while.
When all of these things are considered, expanding your company globally might not be something out of your reach after all. So, if you do decide to go on with it, here are some tips that you may find useful.
1. It is still quite expensive
Sure, having your company present on a foreign market may seem like a good idea, but is it really a cost-effective one? It would be perfect if your office could just materialize in a different country and all your employees suddenly turned into native citizens. However, in reality, both of these things are something you need to work hard to achieve. Moreover, it’s not just about hard work, but expenses as well. So, aside from being a considerable risk, investing in a foreign country is not cheap, which means you have to be 100 percent sure that making this move is worth your while.
2. Research the local culture
Another thing you need to do when planning to expand internationally is to research the target country’s culture. Sure, everyone knows that opening up a restaurant that serves pork in a predominantly Muslim country or one serving beef in India is not such a good idea. There are also numerous other cultural differences, which could prevent you from achieving profit at your intended destination. You see, even some of the most unlikely items might be prohibited in your target country, which could potentially hinder your efforts to launch your product on that market.
Aside from that, there is the issue of etiquette, local laws and regulations, as well as local policies that may affect your industry. The best way you can deal with this is by hiring a reliable DMC (destination management company) to help you out. It will be best if the company in question is based locally, seeing how it would give you a point of view much closer to locals. For instance, Australian and NZ entrepreneurs hoping to start a business in the U.S. could contact someone at the Insider Experience.
3. Hiring the right people
Finally, one of the greatest problems a company can face when going global is finding a way to hire the right people. First of all, it is much easier to look presentable during a Skype call, than in an actual job interview. Additionally, you have no way of knowing if the person you entrusted this task with has the right recruitment skills.
This is why it is probably your best choice to get in touch with an international recruitment agency, of course, after checking their reputation online. You could additionally do some background checking of your employees over social networks (not just their LinkedIn profile). Needless to say, it still might be best to go pay them a visit in person from time to time.
Of course, another way to go is to outsource part of your operation, especially in the early days. This is, in fact, something that is often recommended to companies which enter markets that are unfamiliar to them. Outsource as much of your operation as you can until you get to know the new marketplace and its idiosyncrasies and until you build up your reputation as an employer.
As you can see, expanding your office internationally may be an extremely lucrative move in some situations, but in others, it might not be such a good idea. If you don’t have anyone you can lean on at the target destination, means to travel there from time to time or someone to check the terrain before you move, it is probably for the best to avoid this risky move. Still, in the digital era of 2017, all of these things are much easier to handle.