How can I expand my business?
Experts may say improved allocation and realignment of funds and resources would do the trick. For newly established companies, growing your investments portfolio to expand reach and operations is a good move. While these are still strong points to consider when positioning your company for expansion, the business landscape has changed, and new strategies are now being implemented to enhance business resiliency and ramp up operations.
A closer look at business giants around the globe show one strategy they have embedded in their corporate framework: expand global footprint and go digital. Several businesses in the Philippines, which according to a Harvard Business Review article has become a strategic expansion market itself thanks to its open economy and flourishing business process sector, have made their forays into foreign markets.
Taking it from big-wig companies like Nike and Apple and home-grown Filipino brands that crossed borders to expand, the world can become your oyster too. This has become even more attainable with digital transformation.
So, how do you go global?
Prepare an international business plan
One of the advantages of growing internationally is that you can reduce your dependence on areas where you have established your presence and finding new niches where you can market existing products or promote services.
As part of preparations in testing the waters for future global expansion, it is vital that businesses come prepared. This means doing extensive research on the market conditions and assessing your readiness to expand globally. Knowing your target market and gaining insights on opportunities for growth as well as potential problem areas with identified solutions must likewise be considered when preparing an international business plan. Of course, part and parcel of this foray is knowing your competition and identifying the profitability of your products and services in these new markets.
Consider becoming part of an international network
As business transactions continue to be conducted across international borders, more companies are now looking at expanding their footprint by joining international business networks. The benefits are many. Companies that belong to such networks can get the right support they need, all while widening their access to new business connections and strengthening their collaboration with partners across the globe.
To avail these benefits, a Grant Thornton insight suggested that firms encourage more of their business development teams to attend global conferences held by their international network, programs described as the “perfect platform to identify and discuss BD opportunities, build relationship with colleagues within the network and understand the dynamics of business in various countries”. On top of these benefits, attendance in such regional or global events are considered opportunities to keep abreast of current best practices employed by other firms, initiatives that can be included in your own corporate policies as well.
Exploit corporate technology and digital know-how
Today, as economies and businesses gradually recover from the pandemic, expanding market reach and boosting digital transformation should form part of businesses’ existing corporate management and business development strategies. Although initiatives geared towards going digital were already underway for most companies, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this transition. A McKinsey article revealed that as a quick response to the impact of the pandemic to business operations, what would have normally taken companies months’ worth of transformation took place in a span of a few weeks, and for some, just a couple of days.
Considering the positive impact of beefing up digital transformation programs, more companies should focus on taking advantage of these benefits which become essential when collaborating with international partners and clients.
Exploring and adopting the “go global” mantra is no easy task. Like other expansion strategies, it means going beyond by re-positioning your brand, expanding your consumer base, and widening your products’ or services’ reach by tapping on new markets, mapping out your target market, and taking advantage of the benefits that going digital provides. It truly is no easy feat but achievable nonetheless by taking on a pro-active and innovative mindset.
As published in The Manila Times, dated 26 October 2022