Going global is a goal for many businesses. For tech companies with innovative products, solutions and services, expanding internationally can be a lucrative step and provide a new source of revenue.
However, as the owner of a tech business, you are used to being creative, innovative and thinking outside the box. But expanding your company overseas requires order, procedures and structure, as well as administrative and legal processes. To help, here are the three main areas to consider when expanding your tech business internationally.
Carry Out Research
Regardless of industry, expanding overseas requires a lot of research. However, for a tech business with a niche product or service, this is particularly important.
- The market: Is there a market for your products or services? Who are your main competitors? At what price point could you sell your product or service?
- Culture: How will you overcome cultural barriers? How will you tackle language differences? Are there any religious or dietary issues that will impact your business?
- Communication: How will you ensure effective communication between your UK and overseas workforces? How will you tackle different time zones?
- Operations: What rate of tax will your business need to pay? Are there restrictions on imports and exports? What about duties and customs? Will you need permits?
- Employment: What are the employment laws? Are there any differences to working hours? Will workers require visas?
Test it Out
You may have conducted your research and narrowed down your location, but until you have visited, you cannot choose where to expand your tech business. As such, before making the leap, test it out.
Spend some time in potential locations and assess the business environment. Reach out to accountants, logistics firms and seek legal advice; attend events and go networking; speak to other businesses who have successfully made the transition; and use a third-party agency or professional to find out if the location has the talent and employees your business will require.
Remember to take your time. Expansion is a big decision that should not be made lightly. As such, you may have to test several locations before you find the right one.
Check Your Finances
It goes without saying that expanding overseas can cost a lot. This is particularly true for tech companies, where growth requires equipment and investment. This means it is essential to get finances in order.
Ask yourself: Does your UK business generate enough profit to support national and international operation? Or do you require further capital or investment?
Plan ahead by forecasting your company’s finances, to ensure your business is ready for international expansion.
The key to growing a tech business internationally is preparation. Do your research, ensure you find the right location and have adequate finances, before making the move.