Businesses in New Zealand are increasingly looking to internationalise their offering in growth markets, but many overlook the perplexities of trading across borders.
John Thorman, Managing Director of TMF Group New Zealand, recently spoke to the NZ Herald about the opportunities and common pitfalls of internationalising business. Starting with the latter, he explains that companies often don’t realise the extent of government regulation in a new market, which can stifle investment opportunities and effectively strangle business processes in the new jurisdiction.
“For example, you need to make sure you have a provider who will file your taxes on time in Thailand - otherwise you may find your director has an arrest warrant issued for failing to file,” Mr Thorman explains. “Elsewhere, you need to make sure you have a provider that files your statutory accounts on time otherwise you may find you're not eligible to bid on a potential client's request for proposal (RFP) as you are not compliant with local regulations.”
For island economies such as New Zealand, exporting and expanding across borders is a requisite for growth, but it is best done when a company has done its research. Rushing into a new market can be particularly dangerous for business, and working with trusted, professional service providers is crucial in order for operations to succeed. Having employees “in-country” is usually the best way to grow revenue, Mr Thorman believes.
“It works best that way, instead of trying to sell remotely. You may get a foot in the door if you can find a distributor in the new market, but unless you have someone in-country putting time and effort into pushing that distributor to sell your offering then it may not happen as quickly as you'd like.”
TMF Group has a presence in more than 80 countries around the world, providing specialised and business-critical financial, corporate secretarial and human resource administrative services; we help to reduce risk, control costs and simplify operations.