There are plenty of great reasons why you should attempt to expand your business into new territories. Quite reasonably, it’s the goal of many new businesses – I know that in my case having a global footprint and all of the opportunities that can offer was certainly a big driver for me when I set up OMNIA initially. And over the years, as the company has expanded and new opportunities have arisen as a result, I know I made the right choice. But as with so many things in business, it’s important that you trust your instincts and have the confidence to take your business dream to the next level.
Going global – if you get it right – will take your business to new customers and markets, and should grow your company revenue accordingly. It can be an opportunity to extend the life of some of your existing products and services by bringing them to new customers – and it can also spread risk, creating a more solid base for your core business to build on. And of course, with today’s advances in mobile and cloud technology, it is easier than ever to form global teams and to try to forge a single identity for a geographically diverse business. But how do you go about taking this step?
Financing growth is key
My first piece of advice is to make sure you have the financing in place to do it properly – and if you haven’t, then it’s a case of identifying investors who believe enough in your company to back you. Over the years I’ve managed to do this, partly because I have such a strong, easily sellable vision of what I want to achieve through the expansion of OMNIA, but also because I’ve trusted my instincts and only worked with people I have a great relationship with. It has meant that any expansion of my businesses has always been organic and sustainable – and has been backed by secure financing and a solid plan for the future.
Building through powerful partnerships
One very successful route to the global expansion of your business is also founded on this principle of building strong relationships. Developing strategic partnerships with other companies can be a great way to build your business in new territories – in my experience, however, the key to making these kinds of partnerships a success is developing trust – and that comes out of a recognition that any arrangement you make is for the benefit of both parties.
A clear vision
The third factor you need to consider is having a very clear strategy. Obviously, this is vital in any business – whether it’s a domestic or a multi-national one – but it’s particularly important when you are expanding into new markets abroad. Plan carefully which territories you want to move into – and take the time to understand all of the many cultural and social differences that could have a big impact on your ability to do business effectively there. It’s much more time consuming and expensive to cut your losses and pull out of a tricky business situation once it has happened – so make sure you put in the hard work first to avoid any problems in the first place.
It’s also worth saying that your business plan probably can’t just be an expansion of your existing one for your home country – each market has its own customers with their own preferences that you will need to thoroughly research before you make the move to go global.
So, if you feel you’re ready to take your business to the next level, and expand abroad, then go for it. The potential rewards are huge – as of course are the pitfalls – but in my experience, it has always been a step worth taking.