By Mark Costa-Rising of Gerson Relocation
With the new year upon us, many small businesses will be considering their options for growth in the months ahead. Making 2018 a year of unparalleled development is a dream all directors and CEOs will be clinging to. But how can you achieve this goal? International expansion could be the answer.
- Reach New Markets
Businesses will often find they reach a peak of market share, capping their current levels of market saturation. In this circumstance, if they want to increase profitability, there are two options: invest more into the current market to see greater returns, or move to other markets. Typically, for example, a bakery operating in Los Angeles that has performed well might then open a new storefront in San Francisco. However, domestic moves aren’t your only option. International markets have huge potential for return on investment, especially if your service or product is particularly valuable or desirable within their economy or culture. Limiting your growth to regional development or increased local investment is unnecessary. When considering sales expansion, think globally. The cost-benefit ratio could far outweigh anything on offer domestically.
- Lower Operating Costs
Running a business out of New York, London or Zurich is common practice for even small corporations, but the costs of operation within these capitals of commerce are obscene. Many international cities offer similarly diverse markets, opportunities for investment and just as valuable infrastructure, all at a fraction of the cost. Examples include Mumbai, Johannesburg and Belfast; each providing powerful platforms for business development without the crippling costs that can hinder growth.
- Escape Economic Turbulence
2018 is set to be a year of economic turbulence. Experts are warning of an impending stock market crash, and an unsettled state of affairs brought about by Brexit isn’t aiding the situation. We saw an ever-so brief drop in February; a potential warning of what is to come. Other international markets, however, are experiencing much greater levels of stability. Many developing economies are predicted to see huge growth in 2018, offering protection that the choppy waters of markets like the US and Europe currently cannot. If the bubble does burst in 2018, those with all their eggs in the affected economy’s basket could flounder and collapse. Shoring up operations with overseas divisions is a valuable tool that businesses can use to weather the oncoming storms.
- Diversify Your Talent Pool
Foreign cultures inspire different work ethics and business practices. They also place a different level of emphasis on qualifications, educational standards and training. Diversity within the workplace is a valuable commodity. It helps produce new ways of thinking and operating; ways that can boost productivity, profitability and make your corporation stand out from the crowd. It can also lead to the acquisition of talent with hard-to-gain skills or knowledge. Creating a base of operations overseas enables the easy procurement of such talent and opens your business to the benefits of diversity.
- Establish Global Networks
Networking is — and always has been — one of the greatest keys to unlocking business success. Establishing contacts breeds opportunity for development. Good relationships inspire mutually assured success and result in contracts/sales/business/investment that would otherwise have been unattainable. The larger your sphere of influence, the more opportunities you’ll have for such valuable interactions. Establishing overseas headquarters allows companies to extend their relationships to international brands and create a list of global contacts. The greater your reach, the more connections you can make, the better your chances of finding those once-in-a-lifetime business deals.