Under its open and single market, Europe has the world’s biggest economy; any forward-thinking business leader, entrepreneur, or freelancer will want access to it. Everyone involved in the world of business, no matter the company location, is interested in continuing to grow. So, what are some smart steps for your business to expand in Europe? Let’s explore it together! But before diving into the expansion process, it would be best to ask the most important question.
Are You Ready To Expand?
Businesses are complicated entities, and when determining whether an expansion makes sense, there are many factors to consider. Do you have a reliable customer base asking for new products or accessing your company more conveniently? Will these customers be around for a long period of time? For at least a few years, has your company been profitable? Did you exceed your expectations? Is there promising growth in your industry or market? Have you got a steady flow of cash? The time might be right if you answered ” yes “to all or most of these questions.
You have to figure out what your expansion will look like once you decide that it’s time to go. It is always recommended that you have a well- thought plan for all the growth goals that you have in mind. Some of the typical growth avenues are expanding your offerings, launching a successful e-commerce site, acquiring a new business, offering a loyalty program, and franchising.
At the same time, be aware of expansion’s common pitfalls. Make sure you don’t suffer from your current offers and customer service and that you hire smartly, put proper cybersecurity protocols in place, and perform all the necessary due diligence before diving in. It is important that you track all the possible things that might go wrong, in order to know how to prevent them in the future.
1. Know Your Mission
You need to consider your core mission before launching into an extension. To guide any decisions regarding expansion, use it as a vision statement and remember that any new product or launch into a new market must feel like a natural extension of it. You want to convince your customers that your company serves a grander purpose and is not solely concerned with generating profit. You can take the example of SoulCycle, an NYC-based fitness company that offers indoor cycling workout classes. They took the step and expanded its brand into direct consumer activewear.
2. Keep Your Paperwork Neat
Successful selling and expansion in Europe mean getting all the necessary documentation in a row. Some governments, such as Italy and France, have processes that are notoriously bureaucratic or complex. Having someone local who knows the system (and knows one or two people!) can sometimes help to speed up the process as tidy earnings come from neat paperwork.
There will be various local rules applicable to:
- Income, Business, VAT Tax
- Rules on planning
- Registering and running a company
- The hiring and firing of personnel
- Importing and Exporting
Make sure that you follow all the necessary guidelines and have the required documents so you don’t encounter any legal problems. If you have these documents in digital form, you can convert to PDF so they don’t change the format. By maintaining such a good reputation you will gain a bigger trust from your customers and consequently have them stay with you longer.
3. Respond To Customer Feedback
It might be as simple as talking to your existing customers to discover the secret to a successful expansion. You can respond to customer feedback by finding out their points of pain, why they buy your product or service, and how they think you might be able to improve. You may learn that your customers are traveling a great distance to buy your product or that you are shipping to a specific market regularly. Those are telling signs that growth could be due.
You can take the example of Mozilla; their customer-centric approach is at its best. In the growth of the Firefox brand, giving customers a voice instills people with a sense of ownership in the company. It makes them loyal to the company.
Second, for many of Firefox’s clients, whatever design framework wins would already have a sense of familiarity. People would already recognize the branding of Firefox’s latest products instead of having to adapt to a new design.
4. Search For Assistance Incentives
To help attract entrepreneurs to their respective countries, many European governments have incentive programs or grants in place. In economically disadvantaged areas where financial support is used to help boost the local economy, this is particularly common.
For instance, Germany provides SMEs with government loans and grants of up to 50 percent. There are also beneficial tax rates for new companies, but they are generally not available in major urban areas, such as Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg.
5. Welcome The Ex-Pat Life
A fantastic way to learn a new culture, have new experiences, and expand your business horizons is to become an ex-pat in any region. As the world becomes simpler and easier to navigate and metaphorically smaller, transport and connectivity issues no longer apply.
When you want to physically move anywhere in Europe and set up or expand an independent company, some of the most viable choices are Ireland, Sweden, and Norway. This way not only will you be expanding your business but also getting a sense of adventure and fun as well.
6. Expanding Through PEO
International payroll services help to fulfill all your needs. It offers easy, accurate, and timely payroll, benefits, and insurance plans that meet the needs of your employees, government compliance assistance that protects your company, and HR assistance that keeps your workers happy, concentrated, and motivated.
You can expand to any European country following the steps mentioned, including Germany. Hiring employees in Germany, if done successfully, is key for companies that want to grow. You are considered credible when potential hires witness that you have health care plans, direct deposit, a worker handbook, and other HR-related items in place. They can see that the most important aspects of your business are related to your people. It means that you have your house in order.
Eli is a business development representative who focuses on generating qualified prospects in order to close product sales. Eli studies opportunities for growth, the target market, the competitors, and the previous progress.