Recently, I’ve been receiving many questions surrounding the idea of global expansion. It seems to be a topic of interest for my Fortune 500 clients as well as my coaching clients with only one employee. The idea of expanding globally spikes the interest of businesses of all sizes.
Now, let’s address the obvious. The idea of “global expansion” has certain levels of allure surrounding it. I get it – it sounds sexy and exciting. But, I can never recommend a serious global expansion based purely on how attractive the idea may sound at first.
The truth is, expanding globally can be expensive and takes a lot of hard work. It’s important to ask yourself this key question:
“Do I really need to have feet on the ground in foreign locations immediately?”
If you’re going after a brand new market, and nobody in that market has even heard of you, it may be wise to handle it remotely.
Have your marketing department (which, of course, may just be you) create a demand. Consider conducting educational events to create an awareness about your brand or company. That way, when you do end up getting “feet on the ground” in a foreign market, they will have warm or hot leads to follow up with.
The last thing you want to do is spend years and years creating an infrastructure with no guarantee of a return on investment.
Of course, you may be in a position to always manage a foreign territory from a remote location. When I was a sales rep in technology, I managed a European market from my office in Ottawa, Canada. Similarly, I have current clients in Asia that are managing an American territory.
In this day and age, it’s feasible to remotely manage a foreign territory. And, it can often be done with spending less time, money, and risk than creating an infrastructure from scratch in a brand new territory.
So, don’t get caught up with the glitz and glamour of setting up shop in a new country. Of course, global expansion can be extremely rewarding to your business, but you must do your due diligence in ensuring it’s the right time and market for your business to flourish. Give global expansion a hard and thorough look before pulling the trigger. <– Click To Tweet
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