The Roadmap to Successful Global Expansion in 2021

Tabassi Shahjabeen
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Updated: October 22, 2021

You’ve done well in your business. In fact, you are doing great! And then it dawns on you one day that all of your competitors are going global. So, why shouldn't you? 

Every time you take a step forward, your brain sends you a red signal to stop because who knows what will happen if you wind up becoming global? The mind becomes stuck in the same loop, like a faulty tape recorder, and the negative aspects almost always win the debate.

What about the risks? The additional costs? You've probably considered the worst-case scenario by now, what happens if you get cheated? No one wants to feel like an alien in a foreign market, but what if that no one is you? It’s daunting. 

With these thoughts rushing through your mind, you are doing nothing but losing your peace. So, here's a step-by-step guide for you:

Step 1: Get rid of all your fears!

Step 2: Take a deep breath and clear your mind 

Step 3: Continue reading...

As an entrepreneur, the ultimate goal is to grow your business.

If you are ambitious enough and your business is suited for it, global expansion can be a stepping stone in your growth. But, taking your brand and business outside your own country to an international market is simply a pipe dream if you don’t strive for it. 

Global expansion is not for the faint-hearted; it is undoubtedly a gamble, but the odds of success are astronomical. 

As a small or medium-sized business, you can only go so far in your home region. And that is exactly why expanding globally is a boon! 

To give you a heads up, don't be gobsmacked when things start to become difficult along the road; it is, indeed, a challenging journey.

While global expansion typically yields higher returns, one should not ignore the innumerable risks that come hand in hand with it. There will be days when you will find yourself grappling with uncertainty, and some days, you might even question your own decisions, wrestling with self-doubt. Yes, it’s that risky. 

Now that you’ve gotten a fair forewarning, let’s give you the good news! The good news is 一 you can take several measures to gain a foothold in a foreign market and survive through the first steps of global expansion. 

After reading this, you will definitely discover a way to increase your chances of building successful international operations. 

But first, let's look at the challenges you might face. After all, how can you prepare for anything if you don't even know what's coming at you?

Language, culture, and regulation are big obstacles (believe me, I know)

Small businesses sometimes misjudge the resources and investment necessary to overcome such hurdles. In-country personnel with the skills and expertise to handle these complexities are hard to find and might be costly to add to your team.

Beware of local competition - they've got the home advantage

When you expand into new territories, your business will inevitably clash with other businesses. You may feel as if you're invading their market but fret not, all is fair in business (within the confines of the law and business ethics). To offset the advantages your competitors have over you, you'll need to be careful and aware of what they're doing.

Tax regulations and compliance concerns can be a pain (in the ass)

Even if you just operate in one country, dealing with taxes can be a hassle. Dealing with taxes, fees, and tariffs for global commerce is a major challenge for several businesses, particularly SMEs. 

You need to be familiar with trading standards and regulations. Failure to fulfill compliance laws in a nation will not only hinder your expansion ambitions but also incur additional expenditures in your home country.

Hiring new employees in a new country is like speed dating

Working in another country will place an additional burden on your company, and you will need to recruit more employees. It is always a risk to hire people. You'll not only have higher overheads, but you'll also have to put your trust in new people, some of whom you may never see in person.

Don’t be alarmed yet, there are several routes to successful global expansion for you to embark on. With your headstrong attitude to confront everything that comes your way and our incentives on how to defeat global expansion restrictions, you'll gain the competitive edge you've been seeking for. 

1. It's all about planning (early) 

Think on a global scale, this will allow you to adopt a more deliberate and calculated approach, as well as analyze the metrics of what will work for you and which elements of your global plan need to be modified.

2. Dissect the market and explore its anatomy

Examine the market you're considering entering.  Will it be receptive to your brand and product? What are the local laws governing foreign ownership and trade? Who are your prospective market competitors? What is their degree of success? What can you offer that is better or unique? All of these factors will assist you in determining your target demographic and your place in the competitive market.

3. Visit the country for a greater in-depth perspective

Make sure you grasp the market, culture, customs, politics, and local regulations. You need to be certain of compliance with all of these . Hire a reputable local specialist to help you every step of the process, and don't act until you've finished your investigation.

Leverage local government and expert business resources to help you discover all that you need to know.

4. Identify and employ the ideal representative

Hire someone who is thoroughly familiar with and understands the local market, including culture and customs. Someone who has flawless language proficiency and can successfully bridge the gap between your company's origin and the foreign market you’re expanding into. 

5. Remember to be patient

Understand that global expansion and success will take time. You may not even make money for the first few years, but when you do, it will be well worth the wait and effort. Approach the new market with an open mind and a willingness to learn and adjust your strategy as needed.

Have you expanded globally? If you’re looking to expand within the ASEAN region with ease, click here.

Which type of diction will you try first?

Tabassi Shahjabeen

A content creator, crafting stories into compelling and engaging brand content. I’m on a mission to help businesses find their voice, tell their tales and spread their message using copy that persuades, provokes, and entertains. With a strong grasp of digital marketing, I'm honing my craft every day to become the OG copywriter of creatives.

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