Buddy Up: How Local Businesses Can Aid Your Overseas Expansion

Going global is an immensely exciting time for any business – you’ve had an idea and seen it to fruition, and now you’re ready to tackle the ultimate challenge – international expansion. Having a successful domestic business is fantastic, but overseas expansion is seen as the ‘golden apple’ for many businesses – not only does it establish you as a major player in your industry, it can also reduce your costs, enhance your brand,reduce your reliance on the stability of the UK economy in these uncertain times and provide an exciting influx of new ideas into your business. And, of course, there’s always the incentive of boosting your profits! But going global has its own set of challenges, and what works at home isn’t guaranteed to be a hit abroad.

When you’re considering international expansion, the single most important thing for ensuring success is knowing your prospective market inside and out. You need to understand your consumer (having, of course, previously established that there is a target consumer in your selected country for your business!) inside and out – how they live their life, what they do, what they need and how they think. And this is where buddying up comes in.

As an SME, or even as the owner of a larger business, it can seem important to keep your business secrets and plans close to your chest at all costs – but information sharing can be crucial for development, and making local business contacts can exponentially increase your chances of success. Having someone on your side who knows the area, who can recommend your services and who can make important introductions is invaluable. They don’t need to be a business partner, just someone who can help you understand the local customs, introduce you to important contacts and familiarize you with how business is done in your chosen area.

For example, while closing a deal in the UK usually happens in formal meetings, in China and the Far East you will have to spend a lot of time getting to know your counterpart outside of the office – and failure to understand that will quickly result in missing out on opportunities. Hiring an internationally experienced business advisor is a great way of getting local insights which could swing the balance of success in your business’sfavour – but when it comes to expansion, there is no such thing as over prepared – so snub local business owners at your peril.

At DUA we know that globalizing your business can seem scary, but if you do the proper research, get a thorough assessment of your business’s current standing and follow all the correct steps, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t succeed. And if the complex web of international trade agreements,international laws, legal issues and seemingly impossible to decipher tax codes are offputtingly daunting, it doesn’t have to be – that is, after all, what we’re here for. We can take care of all the legal, fiscal and compliance issues surrounding your overseas expansion and provide great business advice in the process, leaving you to concentrate on what you do best – growing your business.