Global appeal? Five countries you should think about expanding your business to

world map over personWouldn’t it be wonderful if anything in business were as simple as the title of this piece suggests?

Ready to expand internationally? Just click here to find the five best countries to expand to. A one-size-fits-all world domination plan all perfectly wrapped up in a simple guide.

Of course, the reality is that the best country to expand into will be highly nuanced depending on your specific offering, the product or service you supply and the market you serve as well as numerous other variables. It will also depend who you ask, but a definitive answer is available to those willing to dig down to find it.

The World Bank Group’s Doing Business report rates countries to give an indication of where it’s easier for domestic small and medium size firms to do business. There are lessons there for firms seeking to expand into the countries as the report focuses on key areas of interaction between governments and entrepreneurs.

Top 5 Countries

The top five performers in the 2018 report are New Zealand, Singapore, Denmark, the Republic of Korea and Hong Kong SAR, China, with the US ranking 6th. The report itself states there are many other factors that influence firm decisions such as the availability of skilled labour or market size that are not captured within it.

The Doing Business report is one factor Forbes uses in its Best Countries for Business annual listings, which also brings in an array of other data sets, to rank the UK top in 2018, followed, in order, by New Zealand, Netherlands, Sweden and Canada.

Meanwhile US News compiled its Best Countries to Start a Business 2018 list, based on them scoring highest among more than 6,000 business decision-makers in a compilation of the attributes: affordable, bureaucratic, cheap manufacturing costs, connected to the rest of the world, and easy access to capital. Thailand ranked number one, followed by Malaysia, Mexico, Indonesia and Singapore.

Whilst all the different lists could leave you wanting to throw your hands in the air and declare the apparently conflicting information pointless, the good news is, the data starts to become more useful the further down you drill into it and the more you hone in on your own business.

Capterra ranks America as the top country for software companies to consider expanding into. It rightly acknowledges the need to focus in even closer and recognise the variation of markets within states. Every part of every country will hold its own complexities and expensive and time consuming mistakes are easy to make when expanding.

How To Expand Into Another Market

There is a need, perhaps, to trust in the abilities you had in the original start-up of your business to identify where a market exists and then seek out professional advice regarding how to expand into that market. Foothold America, for example, offers insight into whether creating a subsidiary is the way to go in a US expansion.

You’ll need to consider trade barriers, proximity, culture, currency and similarities between your target and current market. There is a school of thought that focusing expansion on a market similar to that where you are already established will ease the process.

Learning from those who have already paved the way is also a useful tactic. Top export partners for UK business are, according to the BBC: America, Germany, France, Netherlands, Ireland.

So that promised definitive answer on the five countries you should think about expanding your business to? The bad news is – the answer won’t come to you in the form of a downloadable list from this or any other article. The good news is – it is available to you and only you through close interrogation of your own figures and unique knowledge of your market and business, in tandem with research into sector-specific growth nations.

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