Small Business Brief

Entrepreneurship

Global Expansion: A Guide for Small Businesses


On average, around 4 million businesses are started in the US every year.

Building a business is no small task, and for business owners, there are no limits to how large your company can grow. Most businesses start small and aim to reach an international level, but this takes a lot of work. If you want to achieve global expansion, there are various things you need to be aware of and several business tips that can help make things easier.

For a rundown of what global expansion is, and how you can accomplish it, keep reading.

What Is Global Expansion?

Global expansion is a strategy that businesses use to grow from a domestic company to an international one. It’s also sometimes called “foreign expansion”, “international expansion”, or “overseas expansion”.

Depending on the company and those deciding on the strategy, some businesses only expand one market at a time. Others make use of free trade agreements and cultural similarities to expand over entire regions.

As every business is different, global expansion is also different for each business. Any company that wants to do this needs to develop a unique strategy. As the company grows, the strategy should be reviewed so that changes can be made to maximize efficiency.

The Benefits of Global Expansion

While no two businesses are the same, many share the same goals. One key goal that all businesses share is growth. Going from a small startup to a global business offers a range of advantages.

Access New Markets

Whatever you sell, tapping into more markets will give you more potential customers. Depending on your products or services, there may even be markets that are more lucrative than your current one.

Advantage Over the Competition

Being “first to market” can play a huge part in how successful your business is. Beating other competitors to the punch will put you a step ahead of them.

Acquire World-Leading Experts

Remote working has become very common in recent years. By expanding, you can easily reach out to the top talent in the world. This will help you build a stronger team with ease.

Reduce Business Costs

Through global expansion, you can move various business operations overseas. You may then be able to maintain the same level of productivity but at a much lower cost, increasing your ROI.

Increase Stability

If your business only operates in one location, there’s more risk. If there are any economical or political issues in that country, your business could be in jeopardy. With a more diverse range of markets at your disposal, your business will stand up better when there are any changes in just one of those markets.

How a Small Business Can Expand Globally

There was a time when global expansion was only possible for large corporations. It required funds and resources that were out of reach for smaller businesses. As technology has improved and globalization has increased, it has become easier for small businesses and startups to expand globally.

Various B2B solutions have become available in recent years that help businesses overcome some of the challenges associated with global expansion. There are even organizations that offer PEO (Professional Employer Organization) services to help guide businesses through the process.

Companies like Bradford jacobs can help your business save time and money while expanding. Global expansion isn’t something that can be done without the right knowledge and skills, so hiring such a company to help with your global expansion strategy can be incredibly beneficial. Head over to bradfordjacobs.com to get a better idea of how the process works.

Considerations

While global expansion can be very beneficial, if things aren’t done right, you might have some issues. There are several things you need to consider to ensure your business expands effectively.

Translation

New countries mean new languages, and you want to be able to communicate with your audience properly. You’ll need to make sure you have translations available in various places, such as:

  • Your website
  • Your app
  • Blog posts
  • Error messages
  • Marketing material

When expanding to a new country, make sure you’re aware of what the national language is. Working with a professional translator is the best way to get this done right.

Cultural Adjustments

Language isn’t the only thing that changes in different countries. Cultures vary based on location and religion, and you need to be aware of this as your business expands. Take into account elements like:

  • Historical context
  • Religion
  • Beliefs
  • Political landscape
  • Symbolism (significant colors, numbers, etc.)

Throughout the expansion process, you should work with people who understand the cultures of the places you’re expanding into. They’ll be able to help ensure your brand aligns with the views of the people in these areas. Getting this wrong can negatively affect how your company performs, and could even cause problems by potentially offending people in these new locations.

Price Adjustments

There’s a range of factors that can affect the prices of goods and services in a specific country. You shouldn’t expect to charge the same amount in all locations, so you need to adjust for different places. This will involve extensive market research, and you may have to do some testing before you get things quite right.

Compliance Adjustments

Laws and regulations can also vary across borders. Depending on the products or services that you offer, you might have to make some sizable changes in certain locations. Not complying with local regulations can have legal implications, so this is something you want to have fully organized before you start operating in a new county.

Developing a Global Expansion Strategy

Global expansion is a big process, but it can be one of the most important steps for your business. There are a lot of potential mistakes to be made, so you want to ensure things are done right. Hiring a professional PEO company to assist in developing your strategy is one of the most effective ways to get everything in order so that you can expand efficiently and successfully.

For more business articles, check out some of our other blog posts.



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