Global expansion can provide significant benefits to your company, ranging from cost savings and talent retention to entry into a whole new market to grow your business. Previously reserved for companies with significant financial authority, these advantages are rapidly becoming more accessible to start-ups and small businesses.
In this article we’ll be covering the following topics in detail:
- Potential for Global Expansion for startups
- Why should startups expand globally?
- What are the challenges that startups face when expanding internationally?
Let’s dive right in.
Potential for Global Expansion for Startups
Even when a startup is newer or smaller, it may have significant potential for global expansion. Here are a few indicators that your company could benefit from international business expansion:
- A global perspective: Even if your startup's initial market is in the United States, planning ahead of time is always beneficial. If you believe your startup will eventually expand internationally, you can tailor many of your initial strategies to make the transition easier.
- A strong revenue base: It's fine to postpone international business expansion until your startup is ready. Even if you believe your product will be well received in international markets, it is often best to wait until you have substantial revenues.
- Forward-thinking fiscal planning: The ability to develop a reliable financial plan for international business expansion is also essential for startup success. Venture Beat suggests allocating time and resources to grow your international market to 10% of the size of your domestic market before planning to double both.
- The ability to outperform international competitors: If your company is prepared, expanding early can help keep competitors from squeezing you out of international markets. If you know you'll face stiff competition on a global scale, getting ahead of it helps you carve out a valuable foothold in the market. Early expansion can assist startups in giving themselves the best chance of competing and thriving in a crowded international arena.
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Why Should Startups Expand Globally?
International business expansion provides a plethora of opportunities and benefits for startups. Here are a few of the advantages that startups that expand internationally are likely to reap:
- International Brand Awareness
Many businesses find that concentrating on their home market is less risky than expanding internationally. However, global expansion aids in the development of strong international brand recognition. When this actually happens, audiences all over the world become acquainted with the startup and its products, which can help boost sales, drive word-of-mouth marketing, and further expand potential markets.
- Better Long-Term Success
Increased growth that comes with international business expansion can significantly improve a startup's long-term prospects. In one bold example, a McKinsey study discovered that companies that had achieved 60% growth by the time their revenues reached $100 million had an eight-fold better chance of reaching a billion dollars than companies that had grown by less than 20% when they reached the same milestone.
Even if most startups do not go on to become billion-dollar enterprises, expanding internationally allows businesses to grow more quickly and increases their chances of long-term success.
- Global Talent Access
Trying to find talented employees is critical for any startup, and global business expansion allows access to high-potential global talent pools. A startup requires a flexible, qualified, and diversely talented workforce to remain innovative and drive growth. As the global economy becomes more interconnected, tapping into these new employment markets will help you gain a competitive advantage.
- Increased Profits It is obvious that increasing revenue is one of the primary reasons startups expand internationally. With the proper advanced research and planning, startups can generate substantial revenues in new markets, revenues that more than offset the increased costs and risks of operating on a global scale. Successful global business expansion can help startups establish a solid financial foundation and ensure consistent profits for many years to come.
What are the challenges that startups face when expanding internationally?
Startups can expect to face a variety of global expansion difficulties when a startup is expanding overseas:
- Language Problems
Language problems in the international market can cause a slew of problems, including miscommunication and nuance loss during critical conversations. And, while English is the lingua franca in many areas of business, most startups will have to compete with local languages in order to find long-term success in international markets. Making an effort to learn and communicate in the local language can help you in these situations. It also shows that you are interested in and respectful of the local culture. Hiring expert translators and English-fluent staff members also helps to streamline communications.
- Cultural Differences
Cultural differences can lead to misunderstandings and even product failure in the market. A brutally honest management style is unlikely to be effective in a culture that values tact. Individual achievement and worth marketing may fall flat in a culture that values community. A thorough investigation of cultural differences can assist a company in improving its sales and marketing strategies as well as providing a collegial and welcoming workplace environment.
- Marketing Concerns
Language and cultural barriers are frequently associated with marketing issues in international markets. Techniques that work well in one market may appear oppressive in another, or the values to which a particular marketing strategy appeals may ring hollow in other markets. Market research is essential in international markets where the language and culture differ from those in the home market. It enables startups to tailor their strategies to their new audience's needs and desires.
- Staffing Challenges
Staffing a startup office on a global scale presents its own set of challenges. They will need to handle recruiting, onboarding, training, payroll, benefits, terminations, and other responsibilities, when a startup is expanding overseas, all while attempting to devote their energies to areas such as sales, marketing, and R&D. Attempting to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to manage international human resources is one approach to addressing this challenge while establishing a subsidiary in the new market is another. However, both solutions have drawbacks. Working with a local employer of record is an efficient, dependable, and cost-effective way to manage staffing issues.
- Logistical Difficulties The logistical challenges of global business expansion can be daunting, especially at first. Startups will require dependable transportation methods as well as strategies for trying to navigate bureaucratic and legal processes such as taxation, rules and regulations, banking, and more. And startups may not always have enough staff to address these issues. However, one-way startups can help themselves succeed in global markets is to ensure they have experienced, knowledgeable teams in place to handle logistical issues.
Grow Your Business Quickly and Easily International
Handling the legal, financial, and human resource aspects of international business can be overwhelming, but Skuad has a Global Payroll and Employment platform that provides a comprehensive solution that takes the burden off your shoulders. Our experienced, professional global HR experts handle employee onboarding, payroll, and benefits. Our teams also navigate bureaucratic requirements and regulations with confidence, allowing your startup to focus on growing and creating.
Book a demo with Skuad experts today.