Every startup company is looking for a way to stay competitive. Many times, that edge comes from a business strategy that includes international expansion. From accessing highly-skilled talent to reaching a fresh batch of customers, there are a number of reasons why startup companies should consider a global expansion.
To go global—and do it successfully—companies need to take the proper steps to keep people and processes efficient. Use these tips to successfully expand your startup into the global marketplace.
1. Implement an Agile International Expansion Strategy
Creating a comprehensive strategy puts your business in a position to realize its global growth goals. Your plan should incorporate your business’ overall vision and address the goals you want to achieve by expanding into each new foreign market.
Startups going global should remain flexible when testing new markets before making a permanent long-term commitment. This helps to justify expenses and ensure long-term ROI. Maintaining a light and agile footprint allows companies to take advantage of new business opportunities quickly and efficiently.
2. Assess Local Labor and IP Law Implications of the Country
Using contractors in-country can be a liability to your IP protection because of local labor law and lack of enforceability. Many companies, especially those considering using contractors versus full-time employees, run into serious issues around protecting their IP in other countries.
International hiring compliance doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Potential complications can be avoided before they arise by shedding light on rules and regulations upfront. Be sure to do proper research surrounding labor and IP laws in any country you are targeting.
3. Implement Tools That Can Help You Expand Properly
As your company grows, it’s crucial to find the right technologies that help streamline processes and efficiencies. These include anything from personal productivity apps to team-oriented communication and management systems. Here are a few that have proven success with startup growth:
- Sales: Capture and respond to leads accurately with automation and management tools like HubSpot and Salesforce
- Marketing: Track visits and leads with Google tools including Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google AdWords
- Operations: Simplify cross-country and international communications with cloud-based collaboration tools like Slack and Trello
- Finance: Create and send smart invoices and payments faster with programs such as Intuit’s QuickBooks.
4. Recruit and Retain the Right People
The people you bring onboard need to understand what you want to accomplish. These people will become some of your greatest assets, help identify opportunities, and advocate for your growth along the way.
First, you must clearly define your job description. Work with your team to develop a straightforward job listing that explains expectations and qualifications. Be clear about the job upfront to attract the best people for the job. When you find the right people, make sure that your compensation and benefits are competitive so you don’t lose them.
5. Find a Strategic Partner to Help You Grow
International expansion is a necessary business move to stay competitive. Combining forces with expert partners can help you expand properly – without having to reinvent the wheel. An in-country partner can handle your international recruiting needs to ensure new hires will add value to your overseas team.
Velocity Global’s team of global experts provides premium end-to-end service and acts as your go-to global expansion partner to ensure your organization has a positive experience. Our International PEO solution helps you hire employees in other countries with a light footprint without having to establish or maintain a foreign legal entity. Contact us for more information.
* The content of this post has been updated and republished. An older version was published on November 11, 2015.