You might think going global is just for domestic megabrands, but it’s not. Many SMEs could unleash unexpected potential by taking their business overseas – all you need is the right idea. International expansion can boost your brand and profits, allow you to challenge foreign companies on their own turf, be a boon to businesses that rely on seasonal sales and reduce your dependence on domestic markets – to name but a few benefits.
If your business has international potential, it’s cheaper and easier than it’s ever been to take your ideas overseas – but how to start? At DUA, we recognise that whether you’re a small local business or a big national brand, taking the decision to expand abroad can be daunting – so we’ve made this simple step-by-step guide, to take the stress out of going global.
STEP 1 – ASSESS YOUR GLOBAL POTENTIAL
Your chances of international success don’t depend on the size of your UK business, but that doesn’t mean that every company has what it takes to succeed abroad. You need to do extensive research on your target market to determine, well, whether or not it exists – in the country you’re considering expanding into, anyway. Is there a need or want for your product? Is your target market familiar with your offering, or will you have to put a lot of money into marketing, to educate them on its benefits? The answer to these questions will differ from country to country – so think long and hard before making a move. At DUA we can relieve you of your research burden by producing an International Health Check report for your company, assessing your likelihood of success from every angle – allowing you to make an informed decision, rather than simply jumping with your feet first.
STEP 2 – LOOK FOR COMPATIBLE BUSINESS MODELS
You need to take into consideration currency, infrastructure, trade barriers, culture and proximity – and bear in mind that if you’re an export-based company, it’ll be easier to operate in countries with export conditions which are similar to the UK.
STEP 3 – PREPARE AN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PLAN
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL! CONSIDER THE NEEDS AND AIMS OF YOUR COMPANY, DEVELOP A VIABLE BUSINESS MODEL WHICH IS ADAPTED TO THE COUNTRY YOU WISH TO EXPAND INTO, ANALYSE THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LANDSCAPE (INCLUDING THE GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURE, ECONOMIC SYSTEM, RELEVANT LAWS AND GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION), AND CONDUCT COMPETITOR ANALYSIS. THIS IS THE LYNCHPIN OF ANY GLOBALIZATION PLAN – SO PUT SOME TIME INTO IT! CONSIDER HIRING A BUSINESS EXPERT TO HELP YOU REALLY GET THIS DOWN – IT’S A SOLID INVESTMENT IN THE LONG RUN. AT DUA WE CAN PRODUCE A WATERTIGHT, THOROUGHLY CONSIDERED BUSINESS PLAN FOR YOUR COMPANY, TO SET YOU UP WITH THE VERY BEST CHANCE OF SUCCESS. AND AN EXPERIENCED INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ADVISOR LIKE DUA CAN ALSO BE INVALUABLE WITH THE NEXT STEP…
STEP 4 – MAKE CONTACTS, FIND A DISTRIBUTION METHOD AND GET FUNDING
Having contacts abroad will really help with the practical parts of getting a business up and running. They can help you to understand how business is done in your country of choice, while a good business advisor can be a valuable aid with the legal headache of exporting and distributing your product. Also, making sure you’re getting funded and paid is crucial – the UK government is pushing for UK businesses to globalize, so there are grants and tax credits on offer – so don’t overlook opportunities for extra assistance. At DUA we can provide you with the valuable overseas contacts you need to ensure your business is a success – and we can advise you on any grants or credits which may be available to aid your business.
Sounds simple, right? Follow these four easy steps and all that’s left for you to do is to start trading. But as all seasoned business people willrecognise, things that seem simple in theory can be rather more complicated in practice. So, if you need support or advice on expanding your business globally, DUA can provide you with all the expertise, international know-how and fiscal & legal advice you need – we’re just a phone call away.