Building an International Business

Visit the local supermarket to get a quick insight into a country’s culture, avoid the USA unless you have substantial legal support, and let sales growth drive the cost base and not the other way round. These are just three of the pieces of advice shared in our new Guide, ‘The Art of International Business.’

The Guide features tips and insights from 18 of the UK’s most successful permanent and interim managers. The experts, whose experience spans a mix of functions and sectors, have helped companies set up and build overseas subsidiaries around the world. One contributor, Phil Wilkes, project managed the construction of food and drink factories in a number of overseas locations including Russia, UAE and Latin America. Another, David Ogilvie, launched UK high street financial service brands into international markets, while Jeremy Cartwright established supply chain & factory operations in SE Asia & Africa.

The experts share advice on a range of topics such as: how to know if the opportunity to set up a successful international business is there; developing a strategy; how to check out a territory; sources of advice; and brand considerations.

For instance Matthew Wright, a director level IT consultant and CTO, warns that companies need to be realistic about the power of their brand: “It’s very easy to think that the new employees in the country you are setting up in are familiar with the parent company, and that the parent company ‘brand’ has influence and kudos over there, but it doesn’t.  This has to be built, along with knowledge of the operations.”

There are also tips on cultural differences, as Paul Ross, an interim end-to-end supply chain professional, says: “Don’t dismiss local ways – we all have things to learn. But under no circumstance dilute your values.”

While Peter Sibbald, an interim procurement & logistics specialist, touches upon legal considerations: “A fact of life in some countries is that the law will be enforced more rigorously against foreign-owned companies, than domestic ones. Such things needn’t be a ‘show-stopper’, but you need to do your research & planning in advance.”

While there are obviously lots of reference sources out there, it’s very rare to get practical insights from 18 people who have actually experienced first-hand the challenge of going to a completely new territory and building an international business.

So get your copy of The Art of International Business by downloading it free here

We are frequently called on to support UK companies with their overseas expansion plans – sourcing highly specialist talent with exactly the right mix of skills, experience and language capabilities. So, if you have an international role to fill call us today 01962 828792