For example, according to a recent study carried out by Barclays, a third of business owners experience an improved bottom line just six months after expanding overseas.
Steve Cooper, vice chairman of Barclays Business Banking commented, “Winning business overseas is a vitally important way for SMEs to prosper and help the economy grow out of recession.
“Our new research shows that in the challenging domestic market, exporting provides attractive new revenue growth for businesses of up to a third, boosting the bottom line and supporting job creation.”
So what are the factors in building a successful business abroad? One of the first steps is building up your brand. This means checking out your potential market, doing extensive research on brands that are already successful, and making sure that once you arrive, the type of advertising and office space really reflects your company and its values. This extends to the language you use – it’s always worth making the effort to communicate in the native tongue of the country you are in.
Why not look into translating your Linked-In page, getting your sales and communications professionally translated, and even learning a few words of the language? Even if you don’t plan to spend a lot of time there yourself, picking up some simple phrases to use is a courtesy, and might even make the vital difference in a sales pitch!
One of the most useful tips on expanding your business abroad, repeated by many who have gone through the experience, is “to set it up as a separate business model rather than simply take a punt at getting some business from a different part of the world… make sure it is sustainable for the future, not just for now or for next year.”
Top 3 Reasons for Expanding Abroad
- Current financial climate in the UK – the message is to cut spending and prepare for another recession, whilst other more financially secure countries are less wary of spending money
- Taking advantage of the opportunity to create a niche market
- Overheads can be much cheaper – everything from staff costs to office space