You’ve hit the ground running. Now what?
Global considerations for mid-market companies
Expanding into global markets can offer companies of every size opportunities to diversify their operations, reach new customers, and tap into new sources of materials and talent. The articles in this series focus on international expansion issues that mid-market companies should address as they consider growing globally.
This Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services article, "You’ve hit the ground running. Now what?", is the capstone in our international expansion series. Throughout the series, many of the decisions that go into an overseas expansion–involving site location, tax, talent, regulatory compliance, and a host of other issues–have been examined at least in part through the lens of setting up the new operation at “square one.” Having arrived at that point, you will find some decisions start to “lock in,” and your options will begin to narrow. What is a more effective use of the ones you still have?
Areas for consideration include:
- Beyond supply: The value chain—Understanding where your raw materials, parts, tools, fuel–whatever it takes to keep the business operating–will come from, with how much reliability, and at what cost all factor in to how successful your operations will be. In their concern for the flow of materials, though, overseas businesses should not overlook the value chain. This is an area of strategy that influences decisions about where to generate value and how it is taxed.
- Keeping talent in line with changing reality—Many of the core decisions about talent and culture are considered at the beginning stages of expansion. If you consider your talent model decisions from startup as static, and stay with the same talent model that got operations started, that talent model may not support the planned business growth or sustain performance over the long term.
As the world shrinks and connects, cross-border enterprise is likely to remain a fixture, even for companies whose traditional worldview has been limited to their home countries. At the earliest stages of an expansion, the watchwords are: Focus on why you’re making this investment, engage with the local culture to make informed decisions, and keep your options as open as possible.
At the end of that process, when the startup phase gives way to ongoing operation, the watchwords aren’t really any different. Remember the promised value that brought you here. Remain engaged on the ground so your enterprise becomes part of the local fabric, not an island apart. Finally, remember the options you worked to keep open – and use them wisely.