October 9, 2008 12:25 PM BST
Over the recent years I have successfully expanded our operations into new countries and the formula for success is very simple. Just follow the basic rule, prior planning and preparation prevents poor performance (PPPPPP).
It is not as simple as identifying an opportunity and going for it, you need to ensure that you have completed your due diligence on that country to establish the factors for success such as :
1) What form of company you need to set up in order to operate legally. Local company, branch office etc.
2) The financial requirements in respect of taxes on goods and services etc. and just as important how to repatriate profit whilst minising the losses incurred.
3) Logistics within the country and customs regulations.
4) Are there are special dispensation agreements from the government for the type of product/service that you offer.
5) Local employment regulations and company liabilities in respect of employees, both local and international.
6) Is there a market for your particular product/service and if so can you compete against local competition.
7) Is the market short or long term and what benefits can be derived from operating there.
8) What are the major risk factors and can they be minimised.
I always spend two or three weeks in a country with my procurement manager and a technical expert to establish fully what we require to do prior to commencing operations. Only if we pass this due diligence do we then start the process of company set up and agree to undertake projects in the new country.
This is only a portion of what may be required but it provides an insight into what is required to ensure success. I am certain that others will have their own thoughts and ideas and will do things differently but as I said at the beginning, it is the prior planning and preparation that will either ensure you succeed or fail.