Business is all about people. Unless you hire the right talent, nurture them and their skills, put the right messages in front of your audience and connect with consumers on a personal level, your business will struggle to survive. So when looking to expand into a new territory, it should be people at the top of your list, rather than money. Who are you going to trust to manage an international expansion? Who will be interested in your products and services? And how will you be able to connect to a whole new audience and persuade them to give your business a try?
If you want to run a successful business and take it to the next level, you need to invest in the right people and plan carefully for international expansion. In today’s post, we show you how.
Find top talent in new countries
One of the first things that you should do when thinking about expanding a business overseas is to find top talent within the country. Your employees could make or break your business, and so being able to find the cream of the crop and choose only the most skilled and experienced talent makes sense. The hardest part, however, is knowing where to find those talented individuals.
Quite obviously, it makes sense for you to visit the country yourself before you invest, and speak with people who you think could help. Rather than establishing a legal entity within the country, you may choose to work with a Professional Employment Organisation, who will employ the new recruit on your behalf, meaning that you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars on creating a new business in a new country, and jump through the associated legal and financial hoops.
Alternatively, you may decide to work with a company that helps businesses expand. Indeed, some offer services such as employee payroll Mexico based, helping you to navigate the Mexican market and maximize on your time and money. Such companies can help with both the marketing of and recruitment of talent for your business, ensuring every employee you sign on is done so legally and that contracts conform to local regulations and laws.
As outlined in Equities, there are a whole host of reasons why Mexico, in particular, is a popular choice for international expansion, and that by learning the language, embracing the culture and visiting often, you can make a real impact and take your business to the next level, attracting the attention of locals and other businesses who may be in need of your services. As is the case in all aspects of business, when you make an effort and put in groundwork, you’ll be rewarded.
Give employees the tools they need
Once you have found top talent for your business, the next step is to equip them with the tools and skills they need to thrive. The chances are that you’ll oversee your business expansion but then return to your native country to work on other projects and challenges. So in order to leave your new employees in the best possible way, you should ensure they have the necessary funds and tools, whether that be financial, human resources, or marketing tools, to grow your brand.
Rather than outsourcing things such as graphic design and marketing, give your team what they need in-house - and the support to get started. It may be that they take a visit to your home country, whether that be the United States, United Kingdom or Canada, and visit the rest of your team to fully integrate into the company. That way, they’ll have the contacts and the knowledge that they need to make the right decisions for your business development, and achieve results.
Of course, whether you’ve launched a limited company or you’re using a PEO, you should aim to speak with your international employees on a regular basis. Communication is critical, never more so in the early days of your business, so the sooner you can establish relationships with your new employees, the better. Team building exercises may be required to achieve results.
Finally, ensure your international employees have access to funding for both business tasks, like marketing, sales, and human resources, but also for their personal growth. You may decide to send employees on regular training courses to boost their skills or hire an in-house trainer or support worker who will be able to offer assistance and report back to you, wherever you are.
Start planning early
Deciding to expand your business is a big decision and not one that should be taken lightly. Before you make the jump and get started, ensure you do your research and start planning.
You should be aware of your local competitors - all of whom will likely have strong brand awareness in the country and perhaps cultural ties or loyalty - and also be aware of the fact your audience may differ from your audience in your native country. Indeed, you cannot expect to ‘cut and paste’ your business model from one country to another, particularly in countries where language and culture are so different, so understand your new target market.
Before you move into a new country, you should consider learning the language or working with a person who does and understand the rules and regulations of the country, which are likely to be different to those at home. You should also keep an eye on the time - countries in Latin America, for example, are seeing tremendous growth, but that brings with it more competition from other Western brands thinking about making the jump and expanding too. If you’re one of the first to enter a new territory, you’ll no doubt find it easier to make a great first impression and get ahead of the competition, so whilst planning is critical, acting fact is even more important.
With the right people, the right plans and the right ideas, you’ll be able to expand your business and make more money internationally. Of course, expansion requires you to take risks, but the truth is that no business would be successful without taking risks. Whatever you decide to do, and wherever you decide to expand, we wish you the best of luck.
Seasoned Business and Investment Professional in Latin America. Craig Dempsey is the CEO and Co-Founder of a leading multi-national group, that specializes in the provision market entry and back office services in the Latin America. Craig holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Project Management. Craig is also a veteran, having served as an Australian military officer on numerous overseas missions and also a former mining executive with experience in various overseas countries.