There are lot of things that helps the business grow. One of those things, specially for a B2B business, is global expansion. Global expansion has become a necessity in lot of ways for service companies. All Fortune 100 companies are multinationals with operations across the globe. A cereal company sells cereal in US also sells cereal in Europe also sells cereal in India and China. So if they are looking for information like how they are doing competitively in the market or how their campaigns are doing, they will need measurement tools in every market. Therefore developing global capabilities is a slam dunk and in lot of ways a no-brainer.
Then why are many service companies regional? There are many benefits of being regional. You can develop niche expertise in a market and run the tables there. It’s easier to manage and contain, and if you are in a big market, there is way too much ground to cover in there than thinking of expanding wings across borders. But sometimes its prudent to have capabilities in multiple geographies to serve your consumers.
So you plan to go global. Let’s look into challenges that comes in your way. One of the key ones is resource management. The most fundamental resource is people. Getting the right people to work in the right market is the most essential thing. You should go to the markets that will provide you the best bang for the buck, but a key decision making factor, given most other things being equal, is also where you have the most dependable people to service the market.
We would all love to have presence in all 200 countries where Pepsi sells cola, but it is just not practical and in many ways not essential. Take a step at a time so that your operational capabilities are able to support your expansion. Operational capabilities expanding with your expansion is critical. Everything from language support to time zone support need to keep up the pace. There is no time of the day when you can allow downtime if sun is up in some part of the world where you are operating.
Go global if you it makes business sense. Go global at the right time in your growth curve. Go global if you have the muscle to sustain it.