Going global is easier now than ever before, thanks to technological advancements. You can meet new clients online, hire talents online, and operate an international business without leaving your home country. Indeed, technology has precipitated greater opportunities for market growth and diversification, especially for upcoming businesses. You need to include international expansion in your long-term growth plan if you are to register any meaningful growth in today’s highly competitive global economy.
However, maintaining operations in foreign markets isn’t as straightforward as many upcoming entrepreneurs wish it to be. Many companies expanded overseas, and instead of growing, their establishments came crumbling down. That tells you that as opening shops abroad is accessible, you need to do it right for your business to be sustainable in the long run. It would be best if you gave your business a competitive edge in the foreign market to survive. Here is how:
- Partner with PEOs
- Expand into under-serviced markets
- Harness your creativity and innovation
- Build a unique value proposition
Many businesses that have failed abroad failed because they didn’t understand local labor laws when hiring, so they ended up facing unwanted legal battles even before establishing a solid client base. Others failed because they couldn’t hire the right talents right from the onset. To avoid these pitfalls, you need the help of a professional employment organization (PEO) when navigating the challenging terrain of international labor markets. PEOs will help you hire and manage the right pool of talents, so you can concentrate on running the core aspects of your business; on creating a competitive advantage for the business.
Western companies expanding in Asia often encounter a culture shock due to the vast differences between the Western and the Eastern employment cultures. It is almost impossible to hire local Asian employees directly or to handle your HR responsibilities, without the help of a PEO. For example, in South Korea, you need a local Employer or Record to help you hire local talents and enter the Korean market without breaking any local labor laws. A South Korea PEO will make your company registration in the country fast, affordable, and useful. They will even help you hire contractors for construction projects in Korea so that you can have your offices and stores ready by the time you report officially for business.
Before choosing which markets to expand into, you need to be sure that you can handle the market’s existing competition. You will gain a competitive advantage if you can offer your services better than the available providers; if your products satisfy the local market better than the existing products. Don’t just expand into a market because customers are easy to find. Look for customers that are under-serviced and breathe life into it.
Of course, you will need to adapt to the business culture you find in the foreign market, but you should be careful not to be assimilated into the culture. There are many things you have seen and experienced during your business, tricks you’ve learned in your local market that could be applicable in the new market. That knowledge should reflect in the solutions you offer, even as much as you try to play by the local unwritten business rules.
When hiring local talents, ensure that you hire people who are ready to meet new challenges, as opposed to people who are contented by their local culture of entrepreneurship. Ensure that your marketing strategies harness local market trends and then seeks to improve them gradually, without necessarily reacting to them. Be creative in how you introduce changes into the market without rattling the locals. That will make your business unique. Being unique is essential for achieving long-term competitive advantage.
Ensure that your competitive statement is unique and stronger than whatever your competitors put out there. Most businesses center their value proposition on impeccable customer service, affordable products, and reliable solutions. Don’t be like them. Ensure that your proposition sets you apart from all competitors, stating why your business is unique and why customers should trust you. Be transparent and honest with your statement.
Innovation is the backbone of any growth-oriented expansion strategy. That is why businesses seeking to succeed in foreign markets must enhance both their productivity and creativity to build a range of competitive advantages within the new market. After that, the businesses must ensure that the benefits retained and improved are for the long term.