Taking your business overseas and becoming an international company is the ultimate goal for most business owners. That’s when you know that you’ve really made it, but that doesn’t mean you should rush into it. When you’re trying to take your business across the pond, timing is key. If you do it before you’re ready you could end up plunging all of your money into a failed attempt which could kill the business completely. But how do you know when you’re ready to take that next step? There are all sorts of signals that can tell you when you’re ready to expand, here are some things to look out for.
1. Struggling To Find New Customers
If you haven’t secured many new customers for a long while, it might be time for a move. Be careful though, that doesn’t mean you should just expand overseas because you’ve had a bad month. There are countless reasons that you’re struggling to find new customers so make sure that you try other things like changing your marketing tactics and products to see if that helps. If you’ve seen rapid expansion for a sustained period, then it’s started to tail off and you can’t get things going again, it can mean that you’ve outgrown that market and you need to expand into some new ones.
2. You’re Capable Of Expansion
It goes without saying that if you’re going to export my products overseas, you’ll need the right infrastructure to do it. You need distribution companies with the capabilities to make those deliveries for you. If your current operation is a small local one, you’re going to struggle to upscale that. However, if you’re already delivering nationwide through a company that also operates overseas, you’re in the perfect opportunity to step up your game.
You also need to consider the size of your manufacturing operation. You might have the capability to fulfill the orders you’re getting right now but if you expand into multiple other countries, the number of orders can shoot up fairly rapidly. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself with a huge backlog unless you have space to increase the size of your manufacturing premises.
3. You’ve Got The Money
Businesses often make the mistake of thinking that they’ll see a big return as soon as they expand overseas. The reality is, you’ll have to wait a few months at least before you start seeing a lot of sales from those new markets. The increased running costs are going to take their toll so you need to save up enough cash to sustain yourself until you become profitable again. It’s best to over prepare and make sure you’ve got enough for at least six months, if not more. If you jump the gun and expand before you can really afford it, you could lose the whole business.
Add up all of the new costs that you’ll have to cover and work out a rough monthly cost and then you can get an idea of just how much this is going to cost.
Expanding overseas is the best way to take your business to the next level but only if you get the timing right.