Want to grow your business but not sure where to start?
Opinion 2 minute read

Want to grow your business but not sure where to start?

07 November 2013

For a small business looking to grow and expand, knowing how and where to start can be a daunting prospect. Expanding a company’s existing operations or setting up in a new country can be complex and time-consuming; navigating different regulatory requirements, local employment law and complicated taxation rules can all put a company at risk of non-compliance or – worse - failure.

However, according to IDC research sponsored by TMF Group, one of the world’s leading suppliers of outsourced business services, there are five key steps that any business looking to grow internationally should follow.

1. Plan thoroughly and do your research

Make sure that you investigate the territory’s political, legal and cultural environment, as well as the competitive landscape, target market and/or workforce.

2. Get help from third parties

Local service providers and advisors are invaluable, particularly when creating a new legal entity, recruiting and training staff and setting up your back-office function.

3. Consider outsourcing

The boundary between what you do in-house and what you outsource should remain fluid, and be constantly reassessed over time.

4. Consider joint ventures and acquisitions

One way to avoid some of the effort, cost and risk of setting up in a new territory is to buy an existing operation or create a joint venture with an existing operation. However, these options come with their own risks and professional assistance should be sought.

5. Consider a single supplier to manage your multi-territory relationships

One of the key issues in managing expansion is the gathering, processing and reconciliation of operations, financial and legal data across multiple territories. Using a single strategic supplier to handle these as outsourced functions could help provide consistency across processes and standards.

Taking this advice on board, start-up game-maker Nordeus worked with TMF Group to grow their business from three to 110 employees in four countries in just three years. Says Nordeus’ Milan Dukic: "I just can’t imagine the time and resources we would have spent if we had decided to do everything ourselves."

Read more about the IDC’s findings for global business

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