Starting to grow again: the challenges of business expansion - Business Zone

As the country continues to emerge from recession, companies can again begin to turn their sights towards expansion. More than ever, SME’s look to opening offices overseas as the perfect opportunity to grow. Managing any business operation is fraught with risk and requires careful coordination, close communication and solid leadership. But international expansion comes with its own particular set of challenges, which need to be properly understood and dealt with up front.

For many companies this will be their first venture into foreign growth. Smaller businesses that have been biding their time through the recent difficult period can now start to expand and develop. Invariably though, this ambition faces a barrage of challenges from multiple quarters. They may need to do business under local legislations, in different languages and in different currencies, serving local markets while complying with global company standards. In addition, they may need to deal with a whole range of location-specific risks, from unstable economies and governments, to security concerns and labour availability. And then there are the human risks, where working with a new and untested overseas supplier, or new colleagues in a foreign subsidiary, could pose a significant stumbling block to the success of expansion.

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