Taking your business global can be a fantastic way to maximise your revenue and increase brand awareness. By scaling your organisation and operating in new regions, you can reach new target markets and deepen your hold on specific market segments. However, going global can be a tricky transition for small or medium-sized businesses. Before you begin launching your company in overseas locations, it’s important to ensure that you’re ready for what managing a global organisation entails. To get started, take a look at these six questions to ask yourself before you take your business global:
1. Is There Global Demand for Your Products or Services?
You might want to take your business global, but it’s vital that your target audience are demanding your worldwide operation too! Just because a business is doing well in one part of the world, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this demand will translate across different countries and regions. Instead of relying on your existing commercial performance to determine whether a global expansion is the right course of action, do in-depth research to determine whether there truly is a demand for your products and services before you decide to expand your business globally.
2. Do You Have Funding in Place?
Scaling your business doesn’t simply mean accepting a stream of customers from a new location and gradually increasing your revenue. When you launch your business in new regions, you’ll need to ensure that your infrastructure is stable enough to withstand increased customer demand. This may mean investing in new equipment, either at home or overseas, or funding new operating locations. Some businesses may need to hire local workers, for example, while others may want to have a customer-facing presence in every country they operate in.
Unsurprisingly, taking your business global can require significant investment. Due to this, you’ll need to ensure that your plans are properly costed, including the potential expenditure required for contingency plans.
3. Are You Ready to Manage a Global Business?
Managing a global enterprise is quite different to heading up a local, regional, or national company. When you’re operating worldwide, you’ll face varying challenges as a company leader, so it’s important to recognise how and why your role will change.
Economic and political issues are likely to have a much greater impact on your operations, for example, and regional variations will mean that local knowledge is essential to run your business successfully. If you’ve never run a global business before, it’s well worth refining your skills and acquiring additional knowledge before you get started.
By enhancing your academic experience with a two-year Masters in Business Management online from Aston University, for example, you can get the knowledge and skills you need to scale your business and run a global corporation.
4. Is Your Workforce Up to Scratch?
If you’re thinking of expanding your business, you’ll need to make sure that you have sufficient ‘human resources’ to facilitate the growth. If your staff are working up to capacity, you will lose their trust and goodwill if you try and impose a larger workload upon them. In addition to this, your current staff may not have skills or experience needed to take a business global. As a result, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to hire additional personnel if you want to expand your business on a global scale.
Depending on the exact nature of your plans, you may be able to access some skills and expertise via outsourcing. By working with a business growth consultant, for example, you can refine your strategic plans while minimising the number of staff you need to hire.
While the cost of your expanding workforce should be factored into your projected costs and budgets, don’t underestimate the importance of cultivating and retaining a talented team. It can take a considerable amount of time to find the right people to help bring your vision to life, so don’t wait until the last minute to begin your search for candidates.
5. Have You Considered Regional Expansion?
If you’re operating nationally, you don’t have to take your company global in one fell swoop. Instead, it may be advantageous to branch out regionally before you embark on a worldwide growth plan. For companies operating in the UK, for example, expanding into Europe might be a viable way to stagger your growth. This approach can reduce the cost of expansion and ensure that your company’s growth is manageable for you and your team.
Alternatively, you might want to select a market that has the biggest demand for your products and services. Whether it’s APAC, EMEA, LA or NA, finding the most profitable markets to launch in will give you the best chance of success.
6. Do You Have Local Knowledge?
Don’t underestimate the importance of local knowledge when you’re planning to expand your business. Although it’s easier than ever to operate a global business, cultural sensitivities and local customs will have a considerable impact on how you run a business and whether it’s successful. While local knowledge alone isn’t enough to ensure a successful expansion, it can certainly increase your chances of generating revenue in a new location.
If a potential market looks viable but you lack local knowledge, be sure to conduct research before you decide to launch in this region. From country-specific regulations and tax considerations to local customs, you’ll need to embark upon detailed due diligence before you decide to invest in the region. Finding a local business partner or working with consultants who specialise in assisting businesses in the area can be an effective way to access to expertise you need.
Running a Successful Global Business
Running your own business can be both challenging and rewarding and taking your business global could be the next step on an exciting career journey. Before you realise your ambitions, however, make sure that you’ve got the resources, funding and skills required, so that you can streamline your company’s growth and increase the success of your venture.