Your Ultimate International Business Expansion Framework

By now it’s clear, successful leaders are people with a growth mindset, passionate and keen in applying themselves to each opportunity that is viable. They are the people who inspires action and the ones who make up the leading businesses.

Likewise, businesses run by growth-minded leader are like well oiled machines, ready to expand and grow when the right opportunity reveals itself. For growth-minded leaders and business owners, global expansion is a necessary step in the greater scheme of the business and one that ultimately pushes the business to international status.

Looking at Asia to Drive Growth Through Business Expansion

Thanks to the diverse and rapidly growing markets, in the past decade businesses looking into global expansion has set their eyes on expanding into Asia. Given Asia’s recent advancements in technology and the rising movement of digital transformation, interest for global expansion into Asia has exploded.

Aside from maximising profits and leverage running successes, there are many advantages to international business expansion, especially into the Asian market.


Advantages of expanding into overseas markets include:

  • Prolong the life cycle of existing products
    Selling and servicing new markets can help maximise what you already have, extending the product/ service life cycle and prolong the reaping process.

  • Spread the stakes
    Expanding the business across different overseas markets means you reduce the dependency on any one given market by diversifying the stakes across different locations. This can help desensitize the business from any performance of any one market.

  • Take advantage of demand cycles
    Depending on the location and the type of product/service, it is possible for businesses to take advantage of different cycles and seasonality. This can be very helpful for some businesses as it helps stablise vast fluctuations throughout the year.

  • Profit by local know-how and strategies
    Operating in different markets means the business will be exposed to different cultures and know-hows. When done properly, this can create unbreakable alliances.

On top of these advantages, one of the best motivations for businesses to expand into overseas markets is the possibility of tapping into fast growing markets which may be less competitive with existing knowledge and success. By entering into less saturated markets, businesses can have an easier time building a presence and have a greater chance of success.

Related Article: Why Asia is the Place for Startup Success & Recommendations


Tips on Expanding Your Business Overseas

Growing a business is risky enough in and of itself. The stakes are even higher when the business is set up in a foreign location with the reputation and success of the original business riding on it’s back.

Here are some questions that would help you better plan for your international business expansion.

  • Is there local demand?
    While the product/ service may have sold in the original location, you cannot simply assume that the same will for all other locations. Make sure to do the market research and properly evaluate whether there is a viable demand locally.

  • What is the market understanding?
    While being the first mover can be a great opportunity for companies, you also have to keep in mind of how much needs to be done to educate your audience about the product/ service. Your business strategy for a location that has little understanding or appreciation for your product/service can be quite different from one that does, namely more time and money will need to be invested in educating the consumer to secure success.

  • Are there any prevalent cultural challenges?
    Different cultures have different preferences. To succeed in expanding your business overseas, it will be important to scout out if there are any key cultural barriers which will pose a a challenge to setting up your business.

  • How realistic is it to set up the business given the legal system?
    As the other requirements are ticked off, it’s important that you start considering the  possible operations of the business. Find out if there are any legal barriers of entry, and how realistic it is to set up your business in the given location.

If after these considerations you find that the initial location is not idea, then it is also worth exploring neighbouring areas. For example, Singapore and Malaysia while close geographically are very different in market culture and structure, and a business that may not work in one location may actually be great for the other.

Related Article: Why Asia is the Place for Startup Success & Recommendations


Challenges & Common Pitfalls in Business Expansion

Global expansions can be exciting times, but be sure to examine your motivations and your process so to not be blindsided by unsound judgement.

While there is no such thing as a perfect plan,  one that’s well thought-out can go a long way. A hap-hazardous plan on the other hand can be detrimental to the growing business. It is always worthwhile to place the time into considering the various sides of the expansion as redoing a failed plan is not only tiring but can possibly drag the business momentum under, putting your business in a worse condition than before the expansion.

Another practice of be weary of is in blindly following inquiries. Indeed, it is exciting times to be receiving leads from other locations and can indicate a demand in new markets. However, it is still important to do adequate research and strategic planning to properly evaluate how appropriate the market is for your business.

Lastly, it is important to examine the cultural differences and challenges that may be present. Especially for Asian locations, it may be unwise to assume that the business will be conducted in English or that the demand will mimic that of the current markets.

A way for businesses to side step the risk that comes with expanding a business is to expand through a professional secondment service. With Links International’s PEO/EOR & secondment services, you can expand your business cost-effectively without the unnecessary cost and time associated with setting up and maintaining a legal entity, investing minimum capital, annual company administration, etc. – allowing you to expand into a new country in as little as 1 day. Learn more about PEO and EOR and get in contact with one of our representatives to see how we can help you expand your business overseas.

Links also has a host of other HR services, from recruitment, visa application, to payroll processing, servicing over 15 locations. Contact us today to learn how we can help grow your business.

Links Key Article Takeaways:

  • Examine various markets to determine the best match for you goals of expansion.

  • Evaluate the various threats and challenges that may be associated with the local culture.

  • Take the time to strategise a plan and consider various solutions that can help you minimise the risk when expanding your business.

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Links International is an industry leader in innovative HR outsourcing with services such as payroll outsourcingvisa applicationEmployer of Record (EOR), recruitment and more! Contact us for more information on how we can help leverage your HR function.

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