How to Expand Your Business Globally
Imagine your business operates on every continent, and you’re bringing in more revenue than you predicted. If you want to make this happen, you need to consider the right global expansion strategy.
Expanding your business can involve a lot of steps, especially if you want to do it the right way. But it doesn’t need to be scary or unrealistic.
Read on to learn more
Why Expand Your Business
Global expansion can be an excellent way to grow your business. If you feel like you’ve exhausted a lot of the resources, talent, and customers in your local area, expansion can keep your business going.
While you can grow your business in your current office, you may face limitations. Expanding globally isn’t easy, but it can reduce some of the barriers you may face.
Consider the following reasons why you may want to expand your business outside of your current country.
Access New Talent
One of the most significant reasons to expand internationally is to access new talent. You can hire expats and locals who live in a variety of countries all over the world.
If you only hire people who can work in your current office, you only have access to local workers. Yes, you can hire people from other cities who are willing to relocate, but that can be difficult.
When you have a global remote team, you can hire the perfect candidates. You don’t have to convince them to move their entire lives to the city with your corporate headquarters.
Reach More Customers
Of course, expanding across the world can also help you reach more of your ideal customers. You can have employees work in different countries where you want to get more customers.
Then, you’ll have a local point of contact for your new leads. That may make getting sales easier because you don’t have to send email after email to try and convince a customer to buy from you.
Instead, your employee who lives in the same time zone or city can call the customer in question. They may have a better chance of connecting with the prospect, which could lead to a sale.
As you find and connect with more customers, you can get more sales. You’ll be able to bring in new buyers, and they can connect with your company if they know you have employees in their country.
Over time, those new customers may also become loyal fans. Whenever you launch a new product or service, you may have customers all over the world who are ready to buy it.
If you’ve struggled to make good sales lately, you might want to explore new markets. That way, you can get sales now and work on new products to promote to current and new prospects.
One of the limitations of having one location for your business is that everyone works at the same time. However, if you hire people who live all over the world, you can have at least one employee always working.
As your US-based employees go to bed, those in Australia and Asia can start their workdays. Then, the workers in Europe will start their days a few hours later.
When your Europe team reaches the end of their day, your US employees will be ready to get back to work. This can help you respond to urgent problems quickly, so you can keep your business running.
Even if something can wait until the next business day, it helps to resolve issues sooner. Then, you won’t have as much to worry about the next day.
Lower Your Risk
An essential part of business growth is diversifying your business and how it makes revenue. When you expand globally, you can take advantage of diversification to protect your company.
If sales in the United States drop, for example, sales may pick up in Europe at the same time. Then, you can rely on the revenue from those sales to get you through a slow period in the US.
The more markets you’re in, the more you can safeguard your business against economic problems. You may be able to get through tough times and come out with a more secure business.
Benefits of a Remote Team
When formulating a company growth plan, you have to think about where you want to expand. You can set up a few offices throughout the world, but that isn’t always practical.
As you decide how to expand your business internationally, consider having employees work remotely. Then, you’ll enjoy the same benefits of global expansion without as much of the cost.
You can also expand as quickly or as slowly as you want. There won’t be as much pressure to set up a huge team in another city.
Reduce Employee Turnover
Having your employees work remotely may help you reduce employee turnover. Maybe some of your current workers want to move abroad, but they enjoy their jobs at your organization.
If you only offer jobs to people in one city, that can cause people to want to quit if they need or want to move. On the other hand, letting employees work remotely means they can live anywhere and keep their jobs.
You won’t have to spend as much time and money replacing employees. While some people may need to work in the office, you can have a lot of people work from home or abroad.
Then, you won’t have to worry when someone wants to move elsewhere or even take a month-long vacation. They’ll be able to take their laptop and log into work in their new location.
Keep Costs Low
Expanding remotely can also help you keep costs low, which can help your business budget. You won’t have to pay for another office where employees will work.
Remote work also means you don’t have to pay for desks, computers, utilities, and other office supplies. Of course, you can send employees a company computer, but that still won’t cost as much as a full office.
If you want to expand to multiple companies efficiently, consider using remote workers. Then, you can have people in various cities without having to invest in a whole new office setup.
You can also stay competitive when you expand your business globally and remotely. Of course, you’ll have access to more customers than some of your competitors, so you can make a name for yourself.
Maybe you know that your industry is growing in a country such as Poland. By getting a remote employee or two now, you can get in ahead of a company that may wait until they can fill an entire team there.
However, you’ll also be more competitive when looking to hire new people. As more individuals want flexibility, you can offer that by letting people work from home.
There are many options out there to make your company more competitive. Offering more work location options is a great way to do that.
Focus on the Work
Letting employees work remotely can also help employees focus on their work. After many companies had to go remote in 2020, a lot of them didn’t find a decrease in productivity.
Some employees can even be more productive when they work from home. They won’t have colleagues distracting them with a question or a short exchange in the break room.
Employees can also set up their workspaces in a way that works best for them. Offering this flexibility can help your employees get more work done in a day, so you can keep your business running well.
Offer Work-Life Balance
Along with more flexibility, you can offer a better work-life balance to your workers. They won’t have to worry about a long commute through rush hour, and they can be home with their family when necessary.
Providing a good work-life balance can help you attract and keep top talent as your company continues to grow. If an employee finishes all of their daily tasks early, they can take the rest of the day off.
You may also have a good work-life balance if you let yourself and corporate office employees work remotely. All of this can help employees look forward to their work, so you can maintain the best possible team.
As your company expands, you can choose to hire locals or expats. Hiring expats can be nice, especially if they start working locally before moving.
However, hiring locals or expats who have lived somewhere for a while can help your business connect with different cultures. If someone has lived in a place like Belgium for years, they will know local customs.
That can help your business craft better marketing and sales materials. You won’t have to worry about being insensitive to certain events or holidays that happen around the world.
You can also enjoy access to bilingual workers when you hire remotely. If you want to expand into a new country, you can look for people who speak English as well as any local languages.
This is particularly useful if you need to hire customer service representatives or sales professionals. They can more easily communicate with people in their area, which can help you provide better service.
You won’t have to rely on interpreters to be available for every customer service or sales call. Plus, your employees can more easily translate things since they will understand company-specific terms.
How to Achieve Global Expansion
As you think about your plan for global expansion, you may decide you want to work with remote employees. That can be an excellent strategy, but you still need how to make the plan a reality.
Expanding globally probably won’t happen overnight, but it can happen efficiently with a good plan. You should think about where your company is now and where you want it to go.
Then, keep the following steps in mind as you work on growing your business internationally.
Think About Your Goals
First, you should think about your goals for global expansion. Perhaps your goal is as small as keeping your best employees without forcing them to stay in the same city.
Or maybe you have big goals of conquering your industry in all other continents, from Asia to South America. Knowing why you want to expand can help you take steps to reach that particular goal.
If you want to be in all markets, you can focus on hiring people in various countries. Then, you can slowly build a team with people in all of the countries where you want to get customers.
On the other hand, if you want to expand to a few markets, you can start there. As you’re successful, you might choose to keep expanding further.
Start Within Your Organization
If you want to quick-start your international business growth, consider your current employees. Ask your team if anyone wants to move abroad and if so, where they want to live.
You may find that everyone is content living in your current city. However, one or two employees might want to live in a different country, at least for a while.
Starting with your current team is a great option if you aren’t sure where you want to expand to. You can start by helping current employees move where they want.
Then, you’ll be able to build a presence in that new country after the employee settles in. After that, you might learn of new markets where you can start hiring new people.
Conduct Market Research
As you talk with current employees, you should also conduct market research. Think about the products or services you offer and who your current customers are.
You can then research the market for those offers in other countries. Maybe you find that you could sell a lot of an item in Australia, so you look at hiring employees there.
Market research can help you validate a need for your company in a certain location. Of course, you can hire people in other areas, but they may not be able to help with the expansion as much.
Knowing the best markets to break into can help you as you start your expansion. You can always add more markets later.
Consider Time Differences
Another vital part of global expansion is the time differences. If your business is currently on the US East Coast, expanding to Europe can be a lot different from expanding to Australia.
Conducting video meetings with employees in western Europe will be much easier. The time difference is only about five or six hours, so you can have meetings in the morning that those employees attend in the afternoon.
On the other hand, it can be as much as 10 hours earlier in Australia, depending on the time of year. You also won’t be able to conduct meetings on your Fridays since it would be early on Saturday in Australia.
Fortunately, you don’t need to conduct live video meetings with all of your employees. You can record a video that you email to everyone, or you can write out any updates to send to people.
Know What Roles to Fill
When expanding your business, you should think about what roles you need to fill. Maybe you already have openings from people who recently left, or perhaps you need to create new jobs.
Some of the best roles to fill in different markets include customer service and sales. Employees in those departments often work directly with customers, so they can connect with people where they live.
However, you might choose to hire accountants or other professionals in different countries. That way, you can make sure your business is compliant with taxes and other regulations.
Decide How to Hire
Next, you need to determine if you want to hire employees or independent contractors. Regardless of the country, employees and contractors face different restrictions.
Think about how much work you need someone to do and if you want to control that work. If you want more control of how and when an employee does their work, you may want to hire an employee.
On the other hand, if you just need to hire someone for small tasks, a contractor may be better. Both statuses have pros and cons, so consider laws for both types of employment where you want to hire people.
You should also consider if you’ll be hiring an expat or a local. Like with employment statuses, both types of employees can help grow your business, and neither is always better than the other.
Work With a Professional Employer Organization
A professional employer organization (PEO) can help you save time and money as you expand your business. If you grow your business by yourself, you’ll need to handle legal fees, payroll, and taxes.
However, a PEO company can help you with all of those things. You can enter new markets smoothly without having to set up a legal entity in each new country.
A good PEO company can also help you find the best talent in the new market. They will help you manage your international employees so that you don’t break any laws or have other problems.
Whether you want to enter one new market or multiple, a PEO is perfect. The right company can help you expand your business the right way so that you can continue that growth.
Add Countries Slowly
If you work with a PEO, you may feel like you should enter all possible markets right away. That can be a good strategy, but you may want to take things slowly.
Expanding to one new country at a time can help you learn how each country works regarding how to hire people. The PEO you hire can help get started in that one country.
After you get your feet into one new market, you can continue adding new markets. Then, you’ll be able to choose the best markets for your business, and you can ensure each one is successful.
Growing too fast may hurt your business, even if it sounds like a good plan now. Slow expansion is an excellent, sustainable choice for many companies.
Provide Training Materials
Before you start expanding into new markets, be sure to develop training materials that people can follow on their own. You may be able to train people live if they’re a few time zones away.
However, creating materials you can send may save you and your new hires a lot of time. The new employee can go through the materials whenever they have time, and they can complete training at their pace.
You can include an email address in case the employee has any questions about the materials. Then, you’ll be able to answer their questions to help set them up for success.
By sending training materials, you won’t have to adjust your schedule to train them live. This can be especially important when expanding into Asia since the time zones are almost the opposite of those in North America.
Offer Flexible Schedules
One of the advantages of hiring remote workers as you expand your business is that you can have people working at all hours. But if you want to attract and keep great workers, consider offering some flexibility.
If someone needs to work an hour or two earlier or later, consider how you can make that happen. Maybe you have someone in Sydney who works a bit later, so they can help customers on the west side of Australia.
As you look at the time zones where your employees live, try being flexible. Then, you may even be able to reach more customers without having to hire someone in every single time zone.
Global Expansion Made Easy
Global expansion may be something many business owners dream of, but it doesn’t always seem possible. Fortunately, you can expand your business to operate all over the world.
If you understand the benefits of expansion and why remote is the way to go, you can learn how to expand successfully. Soon enough, you may see more sales and more loyal customers.
Are you ready to expand your business? Contact us to learn how we can help.