What is global expansion?
Global expansion happens when a growing business is successful enough to expand their operations into new and potentially untapped international markets, allowing them to reach more people with their goods and services.
What are the benefits of expanding globally?
Being a global entity and launching into new markets has many advantages, and if successful can greatly boost a company’s growth and give them a unique competitive edge:
Having a presence in an international market can help you to reach more people. For life science companies, expanding internationally means you can help more patients access your lifesaving and life-changing treatments and medical tools, greatly improving global health.
Improved access to talent
Being in a new market allows you to access a new talent pool with diverse skillsets, varied cultural backgrounds, and invaluable knowledge of the local market. This can be particularly beneficial if your domestic market is shortof good talent.
Access to new facilities
International expansion can also help you to gain access to new technologies, innovative facilities and industry ecosystems which may significantly benefit your business operations.
Diversifying company markets
Operating in more than just your domestic market can offer your organisation greater financial stability.
Greater brand awareness
Operating in a new market gives you the chance to strengthen and build new brand awareness, recognition and loyalty.
Many government bodies will offer investment incentives for businesses wanting to grow in their country which could help you produce innovative and advanced solutions quicker.
What are the challenges of global expansion?
Although expanding globally offers huge gains and rewards, there are often a number of challenges and hurdles that a business may face alongside the normal growing pains of scaling up:
All markets have different business environments, your business and offerings will need to appeal to the local demographic, overcome language barriers, and embrace cultural differences.
Compliance and regulatory issues
Learning the different tax codes, business regulations, and product standards can be difficult to navigate without local knowledge.
For life science companies, setting up in a new locale will mean you have to meet local regulations. This can involve changing the packaging for your treatments, putting the instructions in a different language or giving different dosage recommendations, ect.
Lack of brand awareness
Being new to a market may mean you struggle to appeal to the local population and to attractemployees with not being a recognised brand.
Where should you expand internationally?
Expanding into a new market can seem like an exciting prospect for any growing business, but how do you decide which market is best for your company?
Identify whether you want to expand into Europe, expand into Asia, North America or another region. Many markets within these regions will present exciting and prosperous opportunities, but before reaching a decision you must weigh up the pros and cons of each. It’s important to remember that each country — even within the same region — is different so you may need to adjust approach. For example, Europe is a very diverse region, with an abundance attractive markets, but just because you have a good knowledge of Germany do not assume that this also applies to the Netherlands.
How do you expand globally?
Before you can put the wheels into motion, you must thoroughly consider if expanding internationally is the best option for your company. You should carry out extensive research, speak to local market experts, get your financials in order and consider the logistics before you decide where will be best for your growing company.
Once you have a solid expansion strategy in place, you will want to think about hiring the right people for your team, setting up your operations and building out your company culture. Getting help from vendors can help you to mitigate potential risks and navigate specific market nuances.
It’s important to be prepared for bumps in the road that will inevitability occur, for this, it’s vital to be adaptable and respond quickly.
How can Proclinical help you expand globally?
As Global Growth Partners, our purpose is to help our good life science partners reach their goals faster. By expanding their teams, knowledge, capability and global reach, we support our partners to innovate and deliver their solutions across the world to treat and save more patients.
Interested in learning more about expanding your business internationally? Check out our Global Expansion guidebook where we provide specialised insight and advice from industry experts on what it takes to thrive in an overseas market.