Best Practices for Expanding Into New Markets and Countries

Growth is indicative of success for any industry—whether it is expressed through profits, number of staff or exposure. But it may be through expansion that growth is most aptly expressed in business.

A company, regardless of industry or size, has the potential for expansion into international markets, local markets or even new industries. Whatever direction your company’s expansion takes, follow these four pieces of advice to ensure your business stays successful as you expand.

1. Do your research. Learn what rules, regulations and procedures are required for your company’s expansion. Pay particular interest to how your current business plan will be affected by the expansion. Research can provide insight into who your company’s potential competition may be and where would be an ideal site to set up the new location. If you are expanding internationally, take particular note of the local customs and traditions, cultural differences and the state of the market.

2. Provide the proper education and training. After your company opens its new location, you will need skilled and knowledgeable employees to make it as successful as your original. Place one of your trusted senior staff members in charge of the new location. As new employees are hired, they can receive the training and education on how your company operates and does business as well as learn what is expected of them. If you are expanding internationally, it may be beneficial to have a trusted senior staff member partner with a native manager to help train the new employees.

3. Recognise that you will not always be an expert. Regardless of how much preparation and research you complete for the new location or market, your company will likely encounter some type of learning curve. To minimise the impact of the potential risks, consult a local industry peer on what obstacles he or she encountered when entering that area. With this advice, your company can better develop a risk management and business plan for the new location.

4. Follow relevant regulations. Successful expansion requires that you complete the foundation components of your company’s business plan before additional progress is made. Principally, this means ensuring that the banking and accounting measures meet standards and that your company is registered.

5. Assess your business insurance. Making sure you're correctly covered at each stage of your growth is vital, often insurance policies are very clear on how many employees you have, together with new directors/partners.