The European Commission predicted that every member of the EU, including Britain, is expected to grow in the next two years; this hasn’t happened since the financial crisis. So, to those eyeing markets but delaying on taking the opportunity, here are my top tips on how to grow your business worldwide.
Technology is king
Successful expansion overseas will only be possible if you have a strong understanding of the latest technology and how to implement it to its maximum effect. The ability to research and target specific demographics online before you grow your business worldwide means you will be able to keep close tabs on profit margins and return on investment.
Using key digital communication tools is crucial. Technology such as iMeet that allows you to instant message, join live chats with large numbers of colleagues and share computer screens will considerably help the wider team stay connected and abreast of important actions during the expansion. With so many teams working at once it’s essential for the entire team to be on the same page and contactable at all times, and this is only possible through a seamless technological infrastructure.
Be prepared to be flexible
In my experience, the key to success is to adapt. Leaders who can adapt to new foreign markets and navigate their company through the nuances will come out on top without doubt. Those who resist change and fail to understand the sensitivities and differences of the new markets will fall behind.
The true art of adapting successfully is not to just change things for the first three months, rather to be prepared to react to anything that comes up throughout your first year and beyond, at any time. A clear strategy on how to grow your business worldwide is needed, but one that has flexibility to change course depending on how the markets go.
Take care of your business relationships
A top priority when growing your business worldwide is keeping costs down and profit margins strong as much as possible. To do this, it’s important to nurture your business relationships in the markets you’re looking to break in to. Utilising the latest technology to keep in touch with strategic business partners at all times throughout the initial phases of expansion will be essential in ensuring they become mutually beneficial long term partners. Not only will this help to prevent price hikes overall, it could provide invaluable inside information on markets – potentially the difference between successful expansion or failure.
Get the experts on your team
Successful companies have something in common; the ability to constantly look out for the brightest and best talent that will drive the business forward. This is even more crucial when looking to grow internationally. People who are invested in the company and who have knowledge of the markets you are trying to succeed in are the ones you need on your team. They could even bring additional insight into employee laws and taxes in the region which could help you avoid sticky situations further down the line.
Whilst to some it may seem hypocritical to expand the team whilst trying to maintain margin levels, having the right people on your team will be vital to your success. It could be the difference between making a profit or a loss. Those companies that will succeed with global expansion will be the ones who have a team of committed, expert people driving the business forward, are ready to adapt and most importantly, have technology at the heart of the business.
Jason Downes is MD of Powwownow