Go Global To Grow
By Dr Bruce Johnstone, Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield
Are you focussing on expanding internationally? If not, you may be missing the best opportunity for growth in the current economic climate. British firms doing well at the moment tend to be those that are doing business globally.
The big growth opportunity for many UK firms lies in finding an entry into the emerging economies and providing their consumers with the more sophisticated goods and services that they will increasingly demand.
International expansion is an attractive growth strategy because it allows companies to grow their business rapidly while continuing to concentrate...
...on what they do best instead of trying to do something they know very little about. It can often make more sense to expand globally than to attempt to diversify in the local market and risk a loss of focus.
Business owners face a series of strategic choices as they consider global expansion. They must decide which markets to enter, and what mode of entry to employ in each of them. Will they deal directly with end users of their products and services? Or will they involve agents, distributors, partners or other intermediaries in foreign markets?
SMEs can use international distribution and fulfilment services to directly supply end users of their products, almost anywhere in the world. International customers can buy their offerings online or through an intermediary such as eBay or a television shopping network. A global SME might source goods from China using online services such as Alibaba.com, then sell them through its own website and on Ebay and then have the fulfilment managed by Amazon. The owners of successful automated global SMEs are making money while they sleep.
The key to making this sort of business model sustainable is to add something special along the way that... continued on page two >