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Any business owner will tell you that running a business is no easy feat. Owners who manage to overcome the initial setup challenges must put in plenty of effort to keep their venture going and establish it as a key player in the industry. After overcoming such hurdles, some business owners choose to sit back and allow their managers to run day-to-day operations. However, others may be interested in expanding their business to different places.
For many business owners, expanding a business to other cities in the country is more than enough to satiate their hunger for success. However, others may have their eyes on even bigger things, such as global expansion. The thought of expanding any business to other countries can seem intimidating, but it also holds the potential for huge.
Taking on such a challenge certainly isn’t easy, but it is possible to do so with the right guidance. In this article, we will go over useful excellent tips to help anyone who plans to expand their business in multiple countries.
1. Study the Markets Carefully
If you’re planning to expand a business in multiple countries, you should take the time to study the market in each country you intend to operate in. This is because markets vary greatly from country to country. For example, if you plan to operate a retail store in Germany, you’d run into stiff competition from the many retail giants already operating in the country. You might have an easier time setting up and running a retail store in a country like Romania where the demand for retail stores exceeds the number that currently exist.
This tip is vital because it could spell the difference between success and failure. Every business owner should strive to expand their business in countries where the odds are in their favor, so be sure to do your market research before plugging the trigger on your business expansion.
2. Look for Countries With Favorable Government Incentives and Labor Laws
Many governments also offer businesses special incentives to operate in specific industries. Such incentives are usually financial in nature and are given to businesses that drive industry-wide innovation or those that could become more competitive with a bit of assistance. For this reason, you should seek out countries where the government is willing to give businesses a helping hand.
It is also worth looking into a country’s labor laws before expanding your business to it. A country with good government assistance may have strict labor laws that require you to pay your employees a relatively high minimum rate or provide many weeks of notice before terminating them. Such labor laws can make it difficult to hire, fire, or retain staff, so it is best to seek out countries with labor laws that are more favorable to businesses.
For example, places like Italy or Sweden don’t have a minimum wage. However, businesses that choose to operate in these countries will need to understand the other labor laws related to paid leaves, maximum work hours, and dismissal notices.
3. Visit the Country Beforehand
It can be tempting to expand your business to a specific country after reading up on it online or by speaking to people that have lived there. However, it is best to conduct an exploratory visit to learn things for yourself.
Touching down in one of these countries is beneficial because it allows you to assess many things in-person. For example, you can gauge what the foot traffic is like at different times of day in a particular area. This could be useful to note if you plan to open your business outlet in that area.
Similarly, visiting the country also gives you a chance to network with locals. You can learn about the different industries and how they are doing. You could also make some valuable contacts who may be able to supply your manufacturing facility with raw materials or could assist you in other ways.
Some entrepreneurs also use these exploratory visits to check out the different banks in the country and determine which ones offer business accounts that would be most-suitable for their business. This information can be useful as it will help speed up the business set up and registration processes.
4. Consider the Local Language
Many business owners often overlook language when deciding which countries to expand to. The world is more connected than ever before in the digital age, but that doesn’t mean that everyone speaks the same language.
Business activities are still conducted in languages other than English in many European countries. This includes places like Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Greece. If you don’t speak the local language in one of the countries you intend to expand to, you should take steps to gain at least basic proficiency.
As an alternative, you can also opt to hire managers who speak both English and the local language. You can then task these managers with hiring local staff to avoid the language barrier from impacting your business operations. This arrangement is advantageous because it allows you to operate your business in countries where English isn’t widely spoken while benefiting from their business-environment.
5. Choose a Suitable Name
Choosing a suitable name is vital for any business that wishes to succeed. If you intend to expand your business to other countries, you will need to decide whether to keep the same company or brand name for your operations in different countries, or whether you wish to use a different one.
If your company is already well-established in its home country and has built up a largely positive reputation, you may be able to capitalize off it by using the same name in another country. However, you should consider whether you may be able to attract more customers by choosing a different name that appeals to locals more. For example, if you run a sporting goods retail store in the UK, you may find success by setting a Hungarian company name for your store’s outlets in Hungary.
6. Hire Reliable Managers
Maintaining control becomes more difficult as you expand your business empire in more places. Most business owners find themselves relying on regional managers to learn how their business is performing in different places. These managers are also tasked with resolving issues independently while also maintaining the company’s values. For this reason, it is vital for business owners to hire reliable managers they can count on.
This is easier said than done, and many business owners will spend weeks if not months looking for the person with the skills and experience to handle their operations in different countries. However, those that do manage to find someone who can take control of the reins can sit back and focus on expanding their business in other regions.
7. Know When to Slow Down
Expanding your business to other countries becomes easier after your initial success abroad. However, things won’t be as easy for each country you set your sights on. Chances are you will need to overcome unique hurdles in different counties. This could be hurdles due to labor laws, regulations, licenses and permits, or simply a poor business environment.
For this reason, it is important to keep a close tab on your business in each country and know when it is time to slow down. Things aren’t always going to work out, so you shouldn’t be afraid to pull back operations in one country and rethink your expansion strategy. You can then come back stronger than ever and ready to take on more expansion opportunities.
Why Choose OpenAEuropeanCompany?
As you can see, expanding your business in multiple countries can be challenging. However, it is possible to do so with the right effort and enough perseverance. So consider reviewing the business expansion tips described above and implementing them when you set out to expand your business in different places.
If you intend to register your business in multiple countries, consider reaching out to OpenAEuropeanCompany for assistance. We have helped our clients set up and register companies in various countries. This includes European countries such as Italy, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the UK. We also offer business registration services for businesses in the USA, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, and South America. Please contact us to begin expanding your business to multiple countries.