Global Business Expansion: Strategies and Insights for Success

Roland Brouwer

Regional Director Europe, Corporate International Relations

Roland Brouwer

Regional Director Europe, Corporate International Relations

7 Nov 2023

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  • Employer of Record (EOR)

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“Many global leaders believe that we may now be entering a new phase of globalisation, in which companies will need to explore radically new models and practices.” These words, extracted from a recent report by McKinsey & Company, echo the transformative shift in the global business landscape. In this article, we delve into the strategies and critical considerations for successful international business expansion.

Strategic Planning: The Cornerstone of Expansion

Source: Freepik

The cornerstone of any successful global business expansion lies in strategic planning. Companies that have triumphed in their international ventures emphasise the significance of setting clear objectives and leveraging their unique advantages. Whether it’s market diversification, accessing a broader consumer base, forming strategic partnerships, or creating innovative market entry models, a well-defined strategy is fundamental.

Companies often conduct thorough market research and analysis to understand the competitive landscape, consumer behaviour, and the cultural nuances of the new market. These insights enable them to make informed decisions, reducing risks associated with global expansion.

In addition to competitive advantage, other key benefits include:

  • Ensuring a sense of direction, including measurable goals to evaluate progress, react accordingly and change approaches based on business needs and market demands.
  • Helping the company says future focus right from the start
  • Operational efficiency


According to a research report by CB Insights, one of the top reasons (approx. 42%) why start-ups fail is due to misreading the market, while 18% state regulatory/legal compliance. This highlights the fundamentals of strategic planning, conducting a thorough market research and working with a trusted partner like BIPO with the expertise and know-how to help businesses stay compliant.

Selecting International Destinations: The Crucial Decision

Choosing suitable international locations is a critical factor in expansion. Companies meticulously assess the cultural, economic, and regulatory aspects of new markets. Market entry strategies vary significantly depending on the destination’s maturity, consumer preferences, and competitive landscape.

Companies often conduct market suitability assessments, identifying regions with growth potential and aligning them with their product or service offerings. The choice of an entry point into a new market is strategic, considering factors such as ease of doing business, proximity to consumers, and local infrastructure. For example, Singapore and the Netherlands have been attractive destinations for companies as they often serve as gateways to larger markets.

Navigating Language and Culture

Source: Freepik

Considerations related to language and culture are essential for the success of international expansion. Evaluating language proficiency is more manageable with tools like the EF Proficiency Ranking, enabling improved communication and relationships with local stakeholders.

For instance, the Netherlands excels as a gateway to the European market due to its strong English proficiency, a fact reinforced in 2022 when it maintained its top ranking in the Education First English Proficiency Index (EF EPI). With over 90% of the Dutch population proficient in English and many also knowledgeable in languages like German or French, effective communication is assured, fostering a diverse and highly skilled workforce.

Moreover, cultural adaptation is essential for building trust in new markets. Understanding and respecting local customs, traditions, and business etiquette can go a long way in establishing a positive presence.

Financial and Legal Considerations

Expansion into new global markets also introduces financial and legal complexities. Companies have encountered challenges related to taxation, compliance, and intellectual property rights. Successful businesses invest in thorough financial planning and consult legal experts well-versed in international business laws to address challenges effectively.

Countries such as Singapore allow companies to claim the writing-down of allowances on capital expenditure incurred to acquire IPRs for use in their trade or business. These have a significant impact on the business by reducing tax liabilities, which are vital for business sustainability and expansion.

In addition, firms expanding overseas are likely to require access to a global payroll/payment system that considers the tax and liability implications, in particular employee salary and benefits. Increasingly, such companies need access to advanced technology solutions to manage their global workforce and pay salaries across different time zones and countries in the local currency of choice, ensuring seamless business expansion.

Partnering with established HR solution providers like BIPO with its 18+ payroll engines that support multi-currency salary payments and compliance expertise across 150+ global markets ensure businesses scale with ease while staying compliant and minimising risks.

Building a Workforce

A global expansion is not just about a location change; it’s about the people who drive the business. Understanding the local workforce and talent pool is critical to a successful launch. International companies often focus on hiring local staff and providing training to ensure their workforce aligns with the company’s objectives. Doing so involves partnerships with local universities and understanding the educational landscape for future hiring needs.

Employer of Record (EOR): A Strategic Solution

Source: Freepik

Employer of Record (EOR) emerges as a swift and compliant avenue for companies seeking to hire foreign talent. EOR establishes a legal presence in the target country/region, taking on the responsibilities of a legal employer, including payroll management and compliance, while ensuring an efficient onboarding process for international employees. As a reputable provider in this field, BIPO’s EOR services come highly recommended, helping to simplify tax and compliance matters while facilitating the hiring of global talents.

Utilising Resources and Rankings

Utilising available resources and rankings is a significant advantage for companies venturing into international markets. Tools such as the Ease of Doing Business Index and the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking offer valuable insights into the business environment of prospective destinations. These resources provide a comprehensive understanding of factors like regulatory ease, economic competitiveness, and overall business conditions, helping companies make well-informed decisions and strategically prioritise their expansion efforts. Additional listings, such as the Global Innovation Index, Global Talent Competitiveness Index, and World Happiness Report, can offer essential information to further guide companies’ global expansion strategies.

In Conclusion: Forging the Path Forward

The path to global business success hinges on meticulous planning, adaptability to local conditions, and an unwavering commitment to cultural sensitivity. These insights are not confined to a single continent but resonate globally.

In our interconnected world, expanding into diverse markets showcases the endless opportunities global growth offers. It underscores the importance of agility and cultural adaptability in today’s evolving business landscape.

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Managing your employees and expanding your business just got easier with BIPO

  • HR Management System
  • Global Payroll Outsourcing
  • Employer of Record (EOR)

Want to know more?

About BIPO

Established in 2010 and headquartered in Singapore, BIPO is a global payroll and people solutions provider. Designed for businesses of any size from SMEs to MNCs, our total HR solutions include Human Capital Management solutions, Global Payroll Outsourcing, and Employer of Record service across 160+ global markets.

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