Business Overseas Expansion Mistakes to Avoid

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Business Overseas Expansion Mistakes to Avoid

08/08/2022  |  Tamlyn Wood Categories: BlogGlobal Expansion

Overseas expansion has never been better. You can see this as foreign affiliates of US companies take in trillions in sales dollars every year. Everyone wants a piece of this pie, so overseas expansion might be in your crosshair moving forward towards 2023.

With that in mind, you will want to make sure that you do not fall foul of some of the worst gotchas that can affect you moving forward. So, how do you ensure that you keep your company safe while also growing in foreign markets?

The following is a list of some of the most egregious problems that you can cause yourself when expanding into non-US locations. Make sure to read through them as you check off your own plans, so that you can be sure that you will not make the same mistakes. After all, you want to make sure that things go smoothly for everyone.

Hiring for Short-Term Benefits Only

When hiring for international expansion, avoid having tunnel vision. This might cause you to only seek out people who are good for the sole purpose of such expansions and your current company culture.

Instead, you should seek out people who will continue to be a good fit long into the future

If you are looking to expand in a new country, also consider whether those that you hire would be willing to travel. It might be that you expand fast enough to need to move offices. If this is the case, your employees will need a little more freedom to be mobile.

Ensure that you know what your short and long-term business goals are, and be sure to communicate them with anyone you consider for the role.

Failing to Take Into Account Cultural Differences

Part of business expansion into a new area includes bringing in people who have grown up in a way very different from you.

You could do a lot worse than hiring people from several strata of society who can discuss with you the ins and outs of being from that region in private. For example, if you are hiring from an area that is, or used to be, caste-based, you may be in for a shock as such things still impact modern interactions.

Take your time and learn what you can, factoring it into your ongoing expansion plans.

Leaving Payroll Until Last

When you start the process of engaging with global employment, you should ensure that you focus on your payroll process. It should even be one of your most important steps. 

If you do not have a working payroll system by the time your first payment period comes around, this could get you in serious legal trouble. On top of that, you do not want to start in a new market with bad blood between you and the local talent pool.

Think through and put in place processes for compensating any new hires before you bring anyone on board. This will ensure that you get all the information that you need off of any hires. It also means that you can make sure that any specific legal text is already in any contracts that your team needs to sign.

Not Hiring the Best Fit to Lead an Expansion

Someone a person is perfect for your company but comes around at the wrong time. It could be that they would be the best fit when your company is more established in the area, but you do not want to let them go somewhere else.

Do not make the hasty decision to bring this person in to try to expand the company if they do not have experience in doing so elsewhere. You need an expansion manager for expansion and other managers for other times. While you can train the expansion manager for later, you cannot do the same for the other person if you are expanding now.

On top of this, make sure to always check that the person you are interviewing is a good fit for the company. They may have the best skills in the world, but unless they suit your style at present they may undermine your attempts to create a company culture. While you want to incorporate local culture, you do not want to do it at the expense of what makes your company unique.

Offering Jobs Too Fast

If the right person comes to you, it can be very tempting to snap them up as fast as you can. It is not always the best option, though, especially in the early stages of global expansion.

Local laws and customs could have a drastic impact on how a potential employee perceives a letter of employment. You could even turn up some legal issues that could affect such an offer.

It might turn out that the wording of a contract would mean that it was actually unenforceable. Or, you might find out that expectations mean that an employee will expect more money than they actually receive due to implied bonuses.

Overreliance on Contract Work

When trying to expand your business, it can be tempting to hire temporary workers until you are sure that the company is a sure thing. This can come back to bite you in the long-term, though, as these contractors have no loyalty to you.

When engaging in global expansion, you should still try to make sure that your core team comprises permanent workers. This means that you will not lose their expertise later on.

Debate the risks and benefits that hiring contract workers bring you and weigh them up, factoring in what you stand to lose. You might find that it benefits you enough to bring more of them on. Then again it might not be worth it in the long run.

More About Overseas Expansion

After the above, you should have a much better idea of how to engage with overseas expansion. Especially without jumping into problematic territory. If you still have questions, though, you should really be asking the experts.

We are ready to help you with any expansion issues that you with. Our specialists can help you hire new workers remotely and get the local talent that you need to ensure that you continue to grow fast and strong.

So, what are you waiting for? Get in contact today. We are here to help.