What to consider when expanding overseas

Entrepreneurially-minded businesses are increasingly looking to international waters in order to diversify their markets, but several questions must be considered before you make the move.

Alina Dizik, a journalist and contributor for Entrepreneur, says moving into international markets too soon could be a big mistake for growing businesses. Hot markets such as Brazil, China, or India may look appealing, but these nations can often be the most complicated to navigate; several considerations should be weighed before actioning any expansion plans.

First of all, assess whether your foundation at home is solid enough to build upon internationally. Ask whether the business will function well in your absence, and whether you are happy enough with current systems and processes to expand elsewhere. An overseas venture requires commitment, and most of the day-to-day administrative burdens can become very challenging if you don’t have the right help on board.

Recruitment is the next consideration. Finding the right local talent will ultimately be a deciding factor in whether your overseas venture succeeds. Keep in mind that you will be competing with established companies who are more familiar with the local labour market. Cultural considerations are also key, and often play a focal role in other areas of business operations.

Setting up a business is very much dependant on rules and restrictions within the local jurisdiction. Companies must consider whether they set up as a separate entity or a joint venture, and also consider the potential for red tape. It can take weeks and sometimes years just to comply with local regulations, and this should be a primary consideration.

At TMF Group we have assisted thousands of companies to expand successfully and operate seamlessly across borders. If you are unsure of start up processes, or would like to learn more about day-to-day administration of an overseas venture, talk to us.