How to know your business is ready to expand globally, and how to get it there if not

The allure of international expansion can be irresistible for small business owners. The prospect of tapping into new markets, reaching broader audiences, and boosting profitability is enticing for any ambitious leader, writes global business expansion expert Trena Blair, founder of FD Global Connections.

However, the journey toward global expansion is fraught with challenges, particularly when venturing into complex landscapes like the United States. Statistics reveal that only around 30 per cent of scaleups survive in this demanding market. So, how can business owners ensure their business is primed for success on the global stage?

I vividly recall a conversation with a B2B SaaS founder back in 2018. Their burning question was simple yet profound: “How do I know if my business is ready to expand into the USA?” Recognising the inherent risks, this founder sought guidance on navigating the intricate nuances of international expansion. After a thorough assessment, it became evident that significant groundwork was necessary before venturing into the competitive US market.

Defining strategic objectives is the first pivotal step for any owner contemplating foreign expansion. Why pursue global growth, and what outcomes are desired? These questions serve as guiding beacons, steering the trajectory of expansion efforts. It’s imperative to recognise that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach; each business must chart its unique course.

Once strategic objectives are crystallised, the focus shifts to evaluating the business’s readiness for global expansion. It is invaluable to seek independent insights from seasoned professionals with firsthand experience in the target market. These experts bring a nuanced perspective, dissecting every facet of the business through a USA-centric lens.

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