Moving your company overseas can help you take advantage of booming new markets and favourable international tax conditions. However, there are several factors to think about before you make such a massive move. Consider the following questions to decide whether relocating overseas is right for your business.
What’s the New Market Like?
You might have enjoyed great success in your home country, but there are no guarantees you’ll replicate this in a new location. It’s essential to size up your potential new market, taking note of the competitors already in your space. If similar products and services are already in the international market, you’ll have some work trying to convince people buying them to abandon their existing provider and take a chance on you.
While it’s possible to do some research online, it’s difficult to truly get a sense of an international market unless you spend time on the ground. Before any overseas move, it’s crucial to spend time abroad speaking with potential new customers, suppliers and other people in the industry before you make this significant decision.
Do You Know What it Takes to Move Overseas?
Relocating your business overseas can sound glamorous and exciting, but there are a number of logistical concerns you’ll need to consider.
You might decide it’s cheaper to buy some items like office furniture when you arrive in your new country, but you’ll still want to move some items, including important documents and computer hard drives. It’s vital that these items clear customs. You’ll also need to worry about visas for yourself and any employees relocating with you and become informed about port or terminal landing changes.
It’s important to have insurance no matter where you’re moving to, but special insurance packages for international moves should be investigated. There are no guarantees your overseas business move will work out, so many companies decide to put items in storage in case they decide to return. If you want this safety net, you’ll need to research your storage options. You may also find you need to adhere to special regulations surrounding exports, particularly if your company’s in the medical or technology sector.
Getting a grip on all of these preparations can be overwhelming, but if you choose the right removalists, the process could be made a lot simpler. Some companies like Chess Moving have a range of services that go beyond simply moving your boxes from point A to point B.
How Will It Affect Day-to-Day Operating Costs?
Depending on the country you’re moving from and to, you could find relocating significantly impacts your business’ operating costs. For example, many Australian companies are moving to Asia and the United Kingdom to take advantage of tax breaks for research and development and employee share ownership. The United Kingdom’s reduction of the company tax rate from 24 to 20 percent is particularly appealing.
“Australia is an expensive place to do business,” Nikolas Hatzistergos, an accountant at William Buck, told the Australian Financial Review. So getting out of Australia could be a great way to improve your bottom line.
Can You Recruit New Staff?
Your employees are one of your most important assets, but you’re going to lose many of them when you relocate overseas. Will you be able to recruit new staff to replace them? Depending on your industry, you may find a shortage of workers with the skills you require in your new location. You may also find it difficult to attract the right employees, as the most qualified candidates may prefer to work for businesses already established in your new country.
How Will You Adapt to the Local Culture?
Entrepreneurs are not immune to the culture shock people experience when they touch down in a new country. Operating in a new country can be a steep learning curve.
At the very least, you’ll need to alter your marketing campaigns. This could require translating your materials into the native language, but may also involve rewriting copy to reflect local conventions. You might also need to customise your products or services if you move to a nation with a very dominant and different culture.
The sales process can also be significantly different in another country. A thorough understanding of these differences is crucial for success trading in another nation. For example, in China and Middle Eastern countries, people struggle to refuse a product or service outright because they don’t want to cause offence. If you don’t understand this, you might invest time and energy into closing a deal that will never result in a sale. To avoid this problem, you could impose time limits on negotiations or target customers who have bought similar goods or services in the past.
Thinking carefully about all of the implications of an international move will help you make this business decision with confidence.