Going Global with your Business

Having worked in the field of international franchising for over ten years the most commonly asked questions from those looking to take their brand global for the first time are, “where should I open my business internationally and what are the challenges in managing businesses on a global level? “   Both are very important questions however the questions that are often forgotten and should in fact be a priority are,  “who are the companies that are doing well internationally and in which countries are they succeeding?”   When looking to purse business in unknown territories the most important factors to consider and questions to ask yourself are:  

What and how are other established foreign companies doing internationally?

1)    What works for them and what doesn’t work
2)    How long have they been established
3)    Who do they know, what is their network  

Who are they targeting and why?

1)    Culture, Language?
2)    Economic & Political Issues?
3)    Localised Needs and Current Trends?  

What are the cost implications and forecasted ROI (Return on investment)?

1)    How much will this venture cost?
2)    What is the forecasted return and is it worth your while?                                                                                      
Who is your partner and representative of your brand or are you going alone?

1)    Will your business be sustainable?
2)    Will your business grow?
When you have made that all important decision to take your business global, you will have your business franchise model in place, your partner chosen (if decided) and then there is that all important saying to take into consideration, “Why reinvent the wheel?”.   As the Franchisor one of the most important factors to take heed of is cultural, political and financial awareness within your chosen territory. Don’t try to reinvent someone’s culture, needs and wants, behaviours and or decisions, by insisting on your own. Learn the culture and become accustomed to the habits and behaviours of your now NEW customers. What works for one country does not always work in another.
Equally important to note is the role of the Franchisee who will have a tendency to want to recreate your brand, your message, your policies and procedures to suit their market to such an extent that you may find yourself (if not careful) losing your brand consistency, your original business model/ strategy and the successful management of your brand on a global level. There is an inevitable need for customizing parts of a franchise model to suit a specific country and culture, (localizing your brand to some extent), but at the same time if your model works, then why reinvent the wheel?   International business requires, respect, rapport, highly successful communication and the willingness and tenacity to continually embrace change.   It is a learning process for both parties involved and it is vital that when opening a brand internationally your chosen partner fully understands and appreciates the importance of working as a team: sharing, supporting, learning, listening, inspiring, empowering and investing in this long term relationship together.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.