There were about 1.31 million new business applications filed in the first quarter of 2023.

Different companies tend to have different specific goals, but there are some that most share. Growth should always be a key aim for any business, and this can ultimately lead to global expansion. While this can be great for a business, it also comes with various challenges, and it’s important to have things planned out so that the process goes smoothly.

In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know to build the perfect global expansion strategy. Keep reading for more.

Set Company Goals to Guide Your International Expansion Strategies

Business expansion should be your overall aim, but the foundations of this lie in specific goals. Having goals will give your team something to aim for, and can help guide your company in both the short and long-term.

Consider where global expansion fits into your vision to determine what your goals should be. This will also make it easier to prioritize different aspects of your expansion. These goals should be company-wide, and all of your employees should work with them in mind.

The whole process should have several steps, so you want to set a budget for each step, as well as a timeframe for completion. Various factors can guide your expansion plans, such as:

  • Widening and diversifying your talent pool
  • Saving money by operating in new locations
  • Expanding into new markets
  • Diversifying markets to improve economic stability
  • Building upon and improving your brand reputation

Factors like these can drive different goals, so you need to determine what you want to achieve to build a suitable plan. There are various frameworks you can use to establish your goals, but they should always follow the S.M.A.R.T. format:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

This will ensure they’re not too general, so your team knows exactly what you want to achieve, and when you want to achieve it by.

Do Thorough Market Research

Before expanding into any new markets, you need to make sure you understand them. While you might stick to the same industry, offering the same products and services, things can change significantly in different countries. Researching the various markets will give you an idea of the challenges and opportunities to expect.

There are some questions you can ask about each market before entering them to better understand how they work, such as:

  • What sort of demand is there for your product or service?
  • What’s the total addressable market?
  • Will any local laws and regulations impact your plans and how will you deal with them?
  • What’s the state of the socio-political and cultural landscape?
  • Will you need to invest in localisation?
  • Who are your competitors and can you offer something new?
  • Is suitable talent readily available in the target country?

Getting answers to these questions will make it easier for you to lay out a solid expansion plan. This will help you minimise risk and maximise profitability while keeping stakeholders reassured.

During the early stages of your global expansion planning, you might not actually know what markets you want to expand into. After researching various locations, you’ll have a better idea of which ones are best suited, and you can prioritise these. Opting for low-risk countries is always a good idea at first, then you can move into other markets later on.

Evaluate Different Types of Global Expansion Strategies

On top of a choice of different markets, you’ll also have a choice of different strategies. You should consider the various options and assess them in terms of what you want to achieve.

One strategy might work great for some companies but could prove ineffective with others. Determining the best strategy for your business will help you yield better results. The most common types of expansion strategies are:

  • Exporting goods or services
  • Forming strategic partnerships
  • Licensing and franchising
  • Acquiring or merging with foreign businesses
  • Setting up wholly-owned subsidiaries abroad

There are pros and cons to each, so it’s important to look into all of them. The purpose of global expansion is to enter new markets, grow your company, and increase profits, so you need to determine which of these strategies will help you do that.

Look for the Best Local Talent

A company is nothing without its employees. When you expand globally, you’ll want to hire local talent from each market you move into. In some cases, this can save your business a lot of money.

It’s always good to have staff on the ground in every market your business is in. This is one of the key benefits of global expansion as you’ll have the opportunity to reach top talent from all over the world. Taking on employees in a new market will allow you to:

  • Get a better understanding of new markets and cultures
  • Save money as you won’t need to relocate staff
  • Benefit from local language skills
  • Leverage existing business networks and contracts
  • Improve relationships to gain more trust

Depending on how your business operates, you might not need to hire local talent for every market you operate in. Think about things like the need for support staff in local time zones or sales representatives who can communicate with locals. Every business has different needs, so determining what yours are will help you make decisions about local recruitment.

Making Global Expansion Easier

Global expansion is always a challenge, but if you’re properly prepared, things should go smoothly. Bradford Jacobs can assist with global expansion, along with a range of other business services.

Take a look at our Global Expansion page to find out more about how our team of experts can help your business.