Having a brilliant idea and the money to execute it is one thing. Having the specialized advice and knowledge behind you to make it work is another. When it comes to expanding your company globally, the logistics, practicalities, skill and knowledge required to make it a success can make even the best and most clear idea seem daunting.
The process, albeit lengthy, is imperative. Getting strategic HR advice early on is hugely important, even before you have decided what country or countries you’d like to expand into. Cutting corners or skipping steps may save time and stress in the short term, but will inevitably return to haunt you down the line when cracks start appearing.
Crucial points to consider when expanding your company internationally include, but are not limited to:
- Choosing which country/ies will suit your business best
- Foreseeing potential challenges, from a general and a country-specific perspective
- Creating employment contracts
- Obtaining work permits
- Learning the legal requirements of business operations in your chosen country/ies
- Creating a compensation and benefits package that is both legal and competitive
- Benefits and social security
- Planning and enforcing your employment and organizational structure
- Recruitment and, if necessary, workforce reduction
- Probation management
- Creating a legally sound HR plan
- Harmonizing your terms and conditions of employment in your chosen country and overseas
- Plus more.
What could go wrong?
It quickly becomes apparent that underestimating the task ahead is not an option. Getting this wrong will result in your business being hit with financial and legal. The penalties can be much more than monetary; failure to work within the lines of employment contract law overseas could result in your business being blacklisted in foreign territories, seriously threatening your potential for international success.
Now’s the time
There are many reasons to take the global expansion plunge right now. Brexit is around the corner and the UK’s exodus from the EU is in just 6 months’ time. Many businesses with a UK presence are deciding to go elsewhere in the EU in the face of so much uncertainty. Companies that have already started making this move include the Bank of America, HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Unilever.
Additionally, international travel is now becoming easier by the year, meaning that companies that want to go global can travel faster and more cheaply. March saw the first ever direct flights between the UK and Australia, making the world a smaller and more accessible place.
Even countries that traditionally rely on their own natives as workers are opening up to foreign employees. Japan has recently announced that they will be welcoming immigrant workers in a way they never have done before to support their economy.
Where do I start?!
Don’t panic. We know this is a big undertaking, but trust us, you can do it! Help is at hand in the form of global expansion specialists who can guide you through the process from the moment you decide that you want to go international.
You can garner expert knowledge in the following:
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Organic growth
- Global mobility
- Expatriate management
- Visa and immigration
- Compensation and benefits
Today can be the day you take your company to new heights.