If you’re looking to grow your business, big or small, you might be considering expanding into new markets. Whether that’s a new city in or you’re thinking of expanding internationally, there are lots to think about. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to expand your business.
Why might a business want to expand abroad?
International expansion is the goal of many businesses, whether you’re just getting started or have an established brand, and there are many benefits of reaching out to a new market.
One of the key reasons for expansion is that it opens your business up to a whole new market – or, indeed, multiple new markets. That means new customers and new sales. It also ensures your brand has wider exposure to new markets, setting you up for future success.
That’s something that can be useful if you’re also looking to hire new recruits abroad. Setting up a satellite office in a new location makes it easier to recruit from a wider talent pool of employees, giving you access to new skills. Some people are happy to work remotely for an international company, but others would prefer to be able to go into the office – so an office location in your target market offers the best of both worlds. Additionally, if your business has a local presence, you may be more appealing to potential new hires, rather than as a foreign brand they’ve had no exposure to.
Expanding into foreign markets could also help you get ahead of the competition, mainly if you work in an industry that’s particularly saturated in the local market. You’ll need to do market research to identify potential growth locations for you – but if you get it right, global expansion could put you miles in front of your competitors.
Where should you expand to?
The best locations for your expansion will depend on your business, your products, and your industry. However, Trade Barometer research found that 32% of companies see North America as the best location for generating new growth over the next three years. This puts the continent ahead of the EU, which was cited by 31% of customers.
Behind North America and the EU, 23% of businesses see Australia and New Zealand as potential regions for high growth, and a further 21% are looking to China, where growth in sales is expected over the next twelve months.
Finally, businesses are looking to the Middle East, with 20% of businesses expecting high growth across this region, and Asia, with 19% of businesses looking to the Indian subcontinent, and a further 19% focusing on Japan and South Korea.
Expansion within the UK
Of course, you might not yet be ready to expand to foreign markets but are looking for new areas of expansion within the UK, in which case you’ll be wondering how to expand your business to other cities.
Again, where you choose to expand will depend on what your business does, but looking at the best places in the UK for start-ups might help you make your decision.
Edinburgh tops the list for many reasons, including a business survival rate of 40.8%, a figure which is matched by Leeds. You might also want to consider expanding to London, where you’ll find 4,489 investors to get in front of, helping to support further business growth.
How to expand your business into new markets
So, exactly how do companies enter new markets, whether domestic or international?
Conduct market research
Before you start to create your strategy for expansion, it’s first essential that you understand what the market looks like. How do people shop or use services like yours in other countries or cities? Is there an appetite for what you can offer?
It can be tempting to dive right in and set up a temporary office space in a location you love, but if you already have a strong competitor there, you might come to regret it. It’s far better to spend time doing research now, and reaping the rewards later.
Understand how your new markets operate
A crucial part of conducting market research, it’s vital that you don’t merely try to apply your current business model to new markets. Instead, you should understand how businesses operate and customers behave in your new market and then build a specific strategy to suit consumers in that area.
Consider your team
How will you operate in your new market? Will you have your current team trying to do things remotely? Or do you need to recruit a new team of local market experts to handle operations in your new location? If so, you’ll need an office space where everyone can get together to brainstorm and develop your new strategy. That’s where a satellite office comes in handy, as it’s a low-cost solution that allows you to scope out a new area before making a long-term commitment.
Review your finances
It’s crucial that you have a clear plan of how you’ll fund your expansion. Do you have enough capital to get set up in your new location, or will you seek out local investment opportunities? Remember that you may need to use different marketing assets in a new market, employment laws may differ, and there may be additional fees and taxes to consider. It’s best to seek the advice of a local expert who can help you to navigate your expansion, with money left in the bank.
Review your current business model and target audiences
By reviewing your current business model, product or service offerings and target audiences, you can potentially identify one or more areas for improvement. You can also review the types of solutions you offer to your customers and how you could improve upon them to enhance your customers’ experiences.
Get ready to expand your business’ horizons
There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for successful business expansion, but one thing’s for sure – proper prior planning will ensure you go into your new venture with the best possible chance of success. Get ready for your business expansion with an office space that suits your needs – and with locations all around the world, Easy Offices is here for you, wherever your business takes you next.