It has crossed every business owner’s mind as to whether they should invest in a second shop or office, whether they should expand by buying out another company or whether they should simply move to a bigger or a more central location.
Expansion, therefore, comes in many different shapes and sizes. What may not have crossed your mind, however, is expanding abroad.
Benefits of expansion
The growth of your business brings with it a number of monetary and marketing advantages. The bigger your business, the more money you can save buying in bulk and spreading staff and administrative costs across the greater output, and the more customers you can reach.
In terms of expanding abroad, this globalizes your business and introduces you to whole new markets: markets that operate differently, adding excitement and challenge to your company’s operations.
While expansion brings benefits, it’s vitally important that you know exactly when to invest in it. The following four signs show the time is right.
When to expand?
You are attracting overseas customers
Using analytical tools, you should be able to see when your business’s online wing has started to attract overseas customers. If there is one particular nation where word of your company has spread, this could be your next target market. You could take baby steps into expansion by optimizing your website for this nation, for example, translating it into French or Spanish before launching the full overseas section of your business.
Market research is vital in all aspects of the business. If possible, ask these overseas customers if they would welcome expansion into their country, and how they feel it would differ to current operations. Using experts in cross-border transactions and law is also essential for this.
Your profits allow it
If your profits are high, you should look for somewhere and something exciting to invest them in. If you’re worried about this being an overseas expansion, into Spain, for example, then you should use an English speaking Spanish lawyer to advise you. Putting your money in the right places and doing it legally is essential to this type of expansion.
Your national expansion is slowing
Another sign pointing you in the direction of overseas expansion is if your national expansion is slowing down. If you are already a multi-location business in your home country, and the acceleration of results have not satisfied you, it might be time to look further afield. Certain businesses – especially those based purely online – will not benefit hugely from pouring money into domestic expansion.
Read also: Two Tips to Market a Brand Globally
Your rivals are doing so
Finally, if your rivals have begun to expand, then you should follow suit. In terms of your competition, it is essential that you strive to be a trendsetter rather than a follower but, if you have been left behind slightly on this one, it isn’t too late. Use your rivals’ overseas expansion to assess your own; think about what you would do differently, where they have failed and where you could squeeze out more success.
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