Magazine article Management Today

Expanding Your Horizons Abroad

Magazine article Management Today

Expanding Your Horizons Abroad

Article excerpt

DILEMMA: We're a small but growing business tempted by exciting opportunities in Asia. Our worry is that if we take them, we could be betting the company. When is it right to develop abroad?

ISSUES: If this is your first move overseas, congratulations. Growing a business internationally can be tremendously rewarding. It forces you to be more competitive, to clarify your business model and raise your management game.

It's fascinating to see why companies expand internationally. For some, domestic markets have limited growth, or there's a strong pull from existing or potential customers. Many, particularly those in the technology sectors, have to be international right from the start. Occasionally the logic is defensive -- a competitor expanding overseas, or entering the local market.

Why Asia? Is it the best place or your first thought? Think about market opportunity, the risks and your team's capability. Asia comprises a large number of countries, very different cultures and languages, a range of time zones and huge distances. The maturity of markets and relative costs vary enormously, as does the local competition. So choose your country/ies carefully.

What is the appropriate market entry strategy -- a 'big bang' entrance with a value proposition well ahead of anything local, or a collaborative 'beneath the radar' approach? …

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