Starting a business is challenging in itself, but being able to launch it successfully is another. That’s a job well done if you’ve already reached such a milestone in your career as a businessman. Similar to reading books, when you find yourself finished with a chapter, it’s a natural instinct to continue with the next chapter, right? In the same way, an opportunity for business ventures often come one after another. Expanding your business is the next interesting and exciting step.
Expanding may mean having more services or products to release, getting new sets of customers, and generating a higher income. It may also mean opening a bigger shop or office space in Singapore, branching out with franchisees, or moving to another location. Before rushing to expansion, however, you need to consider some important things and assess if you are truly ready for it:
Do your research
In every aspect of life, having a good grasp of technical knowledge and a well-planned set of actions can lead to a successful implementation. You wouldn’t want to open your business without knowing its possible implications, especially if you plan to expand outside your city, state, or country. Spend time doing homework and reaching out to local business organisations within the country or state of your planned expansion.
Location, location, location
Knowing when to expand is a good start, but determining where to expand is another. According to Entrepreneur.com, foreign markets, especially the so-called hot markets in Southeast Asia (like Singapore) and South America, are ideal opportunities for expansion.
Before that, it’s important to know your target market. The formula you used in your base location may or may not work in a new environment. Consider the language, currency, and the laws and regulations of that certain location you’re eyeing. You don’t want to end up in a courtroom, do you? When all these are set and planned, look for the right timing.
Timing is Everything
The secret to every successful plan is timing. According to author Stefan Emunds, ‘Time is an illusion, timing is an art.’ Even if your product has already gained a name for itself, it’s not safe to assume that it will be embraced by your potential consumers.
For example, selling winter jackets during the summer will highly likely generate low profit. In other words, the market you’re targeting should be ready to embrace your products.
Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid saturated markets with a lot of competition. Being a newbie in this situation is difficult. Identifying and analysing your possible competition in a new market can provide you with a great amount of information regarding how to infiltrate that market. You’ll know about the kinds of products and services that are already established in the industry you wish to enter, as well as the types of modernisation required to compete there successfully. In line with that, you also gain substantial knowledge about the local culture, its implications in sales, and local talents.
Funds for sustainability
Given that you have successfully expanded and launched your business in a strange new market, it will not guarantee instant income and profit. The waiting game starts and is usually longer than anticipated. You should be able to sustain your seed funds by having planned long-term funding.
In line with that, you should be aware and updated about the happenings in the world stock exchange as well as the latest business taxes implemented. Knowledge allows you to come up with a realistic financial plan for time and costs.
The factors discussed above must be considered if you’re planning to expand worldwide. Take note that this is by no means an absolute list, but rather a helping tool for decision-making. Besides, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula in business. It’s up to you to design one for yourself.