Growth is an important
priority for any business. Planning for growth allows you to anticipate
problems and you can avoid or survive them. It lets you weigh up the different
options for developing your business, and choose the right one for you – for
your business type and your personality, and most importantly it lets you come
up with contingency plans for some of the difficulties that even successful
expansion can bring with it.
The risks of failing to grow are well
understood – you miss out on opportunities that your competitors get to take
advantage of, and will slowly be squeezed out of your place in the market. You
also have to look at the risks of failed attempts at development: a new branch
that closes too soon, or a product
that’s launched amid a huge fanfare only to fail to find an audience and
vanishes without a trace are both public, visible failures for your brand. Once
you’ve been seen to fail, the damage to your brand can be hard to shift.
Growing your business safely means building
research and reflection into your plans – you need to confidence to pursue your
goals, but if that confidence isn’t tempered by accurate data about your
chances of success, then you could be setting yourself up for a fall.
If you’re planning to launch into a new
market, then confidently following through on those plans could see you building
up a big boost to your revenue, and give you lots of opportunities for future
expansion. If you don’t partner up with specialists to get the international research
that gives you the data to base your plans on, you run the risk of pouring
money into an endeavour that can’t pay you back!
You need to know, first of all, that the
demand for your products and services exists in your new market. If people
don’t want, or can’t afford, what you do, then it’s a waste of time trying to
sell to them! Even in markets very similar to your base, it’s worth finding out
about the competition: demand for your brand could be low if there are
businesses already supplying that need at a similar quality and cost.
Another area you need to research – and
this is where dealing with a lawyer, accountant, or business consultant that
specialises in this new region – is the legal (and financial) responsibilities
it brings with it. If you’re not operating in compliance with the law you could
see some big fines which put your business in danger, or even find yourself
barred from doing business in that country altogether!