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International Expansion

  • Bring the locals in: when expanding to an unfamiliar market, it is crucial to partner up with local organization or hire local citizens who already have established connections, familiarity with the way government operates, and understanding of the cultural norms and customer behaviors in the new market. Do not try to differentiate yourself as a London firm.

 

  • Keep the DNA alive: While hiring locals is beneficial in some perspectives, it can also be challenging and risky since they may lack a deep understanding of the company culture and mission. One way to reduce the risk is to send someone from the home office who has the DNA of the company and respect from rest of the team.

 

  • Timing of the expansion: Follow the demand – never target the demand. Take into account of the resources and expenses before deciding to go into an oversea market. Do not enter a new market without having previous interests from actual customers. Early adopters tend to find good products if you are doing your marketing right.

 

  • Strategic Partnership: Strategic partners, companies with complementary technology that wants to do business in UK and can help your US business, are a good way to enter the US market. In addition, joint R&D with a US university is a useful way to build networks as well as improve products. The alumni networks of US universities are very active and powerful, and can increase reach enormously.

 

  • Be mindful of the nuances and logistics: Before going into an oversea market like in the US, it is important to take into consideration of time difference, cultural difference in doing business, financial situations, social cohesion, etc.

 

  • Talent Acquisition: Get someone in house to source talent is the long term solution. You can find freelancers but they need to understand the cultures of the organization. It is definitely challenging to spot the right person but make sure to utilize your networks.

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