Best Approach for Managing Global Expansion
If your business has grown to the stage where you’re considering expansion, then that’s a great sign of success. Businesses that grow and expand tend to be amongst those that give themselves the best chance of long-term success. When your growth plans include entry into a foreign market you need to have the right strategy to succeed. We list the top three approaches for managing global expansion.
Companies that don’t grow will stagnate. Growth can provide your company with new revenue, new opportunities for innovation and increased market share.
These benefits ensure that your company can meet any challenge, survive any difficulty and reach your business goals. Global expansion, however, comes with its own set of challenges.
Expanding into a foreign market can pose unique difficulties for your enterprise. There are many factors to consider; differences in language, culture, market interest and logistical infrastructure must all be addressed effectively if you want to maximise your odds of success.
Managing Global Expansion
There are a few different ways to enter a new market, but for most companies, global expansion can be best managed by one of the following three. The first involves the hiring of a business development manager. The second is in-house – setting up another office, hiring the personnel you need. And finally, you can opt to hire an external firm to manage your sales and marketing.
Hire a Business Development Manager
One option that many small businesses choose involves hiring a local business development manager. Someone who lives and works in the target market. The idea is that this manager will be well-versed in the culture. The needs of that marketplace, so they can provide the guidance your company needs to establish itself smoothly in that market.
One of the disadvantages of this approach, however, is that by hiring local talent, there are transparency and communications problems to overcome. First of all, you are unable to witness first-hand how they are performing and no matter how communicative the relationship, there will always be a lack of transparency. Additionally, a third party always presents unique challenges when it comes to alignment of vision and mutual goals.
The manager you hire will have a different priority than yours since they cannot help but be motivated by self-preservation and survival. By working single-handedly, if success is achieved, it is likely to be a gradual progression rather than an instant hit. Ultimately, there is no guarantee that short-term success will translate into long-term sustainability, due to those divergent focuses.
Some entrepreneurs are understandably reluctant to hand over serious responsibilities to people and entities that they cannot directly supervise. For those business owners, there is a second option: simply expand your in-house capabilities and manage the entire expansion on your own. By managing the move yourself, you can more effectively control every aspect of the expansion without worrying about misaligned goals. You can have full visibility and greater influence over any decision-making, training and management of your strategy.
Unfortunately, this option often involves more than most companies can even begin to imagine. Many attempts at in-house management of global expansion efforts fail due to an inability to understand and address cultural differences. Others fail due to excessive strain and stress on the company’s critical infrastructure and resources. It can be a long and costly process as you need to find a location for your new office, recruit and train new members of staff as well as purchase all the necessary equipment.
Hire a Third-Party Agency
The third option involves hiring a firm to handle your sales and marketing and carry out the initial stages. A local agency whose expertise lies in helping companies scale provides assistance in every critical aspect of your growth strategy. They understand the market, its people and their needs. The agency can help you identify the best way to present your company. Highlighting your strengths and putting the right spin on areas where cultural differences might otherwise seem disadvantageous.
This can be a great way to quickly gain market presence. Which can be critical in ensuring that your expansion efforts yield the right results. Your time to market is reduced as you don’t need to spend time sourcing office space, a team or prospects. The right agency will have a solid network to facilitate your expansion needs. While a BD manager or in-house team could build the network, that will take months. A firm that specialises in Sales and Marketing will be ready to get your expansion up and running with far fewer complications.
Ultimately, different companies have different needs when it comes to global expansion management. For some companies, a business development manager can be an effective way to accomplish short-term goals in a new market. Partnering up with a third-party agency is the option that any company can rely upon to facilitate a seamless expansion into a foreign market. They know how to communicate your message to new customers, so you can count on achieving the success you seek faster and more cost-effectively.
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