- Establishing your options
Without wishing to state the obvious, you will need to consider the implications of exporting on every aspect of your operation and consider obtaining assistance early on to help identify any local considerations of which you may not be aware. Government offices, embassies and export advisors will be able to provide you with research and introductions for the local infrastructure, laws, accounting and employment practices. You should also take advice on protecting your intellectual property to protect your business and to ensure you are aware of other businesses in your space.
- Developing an action plan
What are your objectives for entering a new territory? Do you have customers who will benefit from an improved service if you set up locally? How long is it going to take to hit the ground running? Clear and realistic objectives are needed in order to track milestones, anticipate issues which could arise and avoid wasting time and money.
- Scoping out the market
By this stage, you should have a pretty clear idea of where you’re taking your business, why and the initial actions to take. That said, field research in your chosen market is essential to help reduce risks and improve the chances of becoming a local success. Taking part in local events, trade fairs or government organised visits can be an effective way to test the market, attract customers, and connect with local agents and distributors.
- Explore employment options
Perhaps you are considering sending an expatriate from HQ over to set up in your chosen new territory, in which case, you will need to consider the immigration and tax implications for both you and the individual.
This is usually a temporary measure until you establish a more significant operation in the country concerned.
- Establish something more concrete
If your initial exploration and set up have proved successful, it may be time to set up a more substantial operation, consider localisation of expatriate employees and increase your local hires.