by Nerella Campigotto
Current events and their effect on our economy may prevent many businesses from considering or proceeding with expansion plans. Conventional thinking may keep your competitors close to home in a defensive posture. Consider the points outlined below and decide if this could be the best time for your business to diversify into international markets:
- Pursuing foreign markets requires a great deal of preparation and research. This time-consuming activity could be used to take advantage of a slow down in your core business. Do you and your staff now have the time available to start a new venture?
- Currency fluctuations provide challenges in doing business globally, even in the best of times. However, a lower currency in your home country means that your service or product could be much more price-competitive in the world market.
- The cost of running an office in some foreign countries can be considerably lower than in your home market. This is also sometimes true of developed markets as well. For example, if we were to look at US or Canadian businesses wanting to enter Asia, we would find that there are financial, as well as various other advantages for them to consider Australia as a stepping stone from which to locate their next Asian branch office.
- The availability, as well as the relatively low cost, of hiring trained and skilled staff in foreign countries may be a particularly attractive reason for considering expansion at this time.
- Potential partners, strategic alliances and joint ventures, all strategies to be considered when expanding into a foreign market, are much more likely to be receptive and viable in times of difficulty.
- Last, but not least, expansion may now be your only chance for survival. It’s simply a matter of thinking in broader terms and finding larger or more diversified markets, rather than concentrating on your local, diminishing market. Following the heard often leads to the slaughterhouse.
Of course, we know that times of economic uncertainties come and go. The challenge is to ride out the cycles and take advantage of the opportunities that the economy may provide, so that we can emerge in an even stronger position once the cycle is complete.