»Start from zero«
A simple answer is – businesses go global to grow long-term and to become more self-sufficient. Selling services and products in several countries helps reducing the exposure to economic stagnation or decline in domestic demand. So global-minded businesses minimise their dependence on their home market. Here are three impulses and considerations for businesses to go international…
Globally oriented businesses have more potential clients. Germany has only a bit over 1% of the world’s population according to Worldometers. By comparison – China’s population makes over 19% of the total world population. India’s population is equivalent to 17.5% and Indonesia makes about 3.5%. The population, especially in Asia, is growing whereas Germany’s population is characterised by zero or declining growth. If businesses want to stay competitive they should consider potential global clients. How does the population develop over the next years in your home country?
Global-minded businesses have access to a large talent pool. Germany is facing a shortage of skilled professionals in various areas of expertise. So if talents cannot be found on the domestic market businesses can look for partners or employees elsewhere. This goes in both directions. Germany slowly transforms itself into an immigration country and becomes increasingly attractive for highly skilled talents from abroad. Politicians are lowering the obstacles through schemes like the jobseeker visa and the EU blue card. Which country will attract the best and brightest talents in the future?
A workforce composed of talents with different cultural backgrounds and point of views can bring fresh ideas and concepts to businesses. For example, Bertelsmann, the largest media corporation based in Germany, actively recruits people from diverse backgrounds because it believes it is a competitive advantage. Bertelsmann was one of the first media corporations that signed the diversity charter. The diversity charter is an initiative to promote integration of diversity into Germany’s business culture. How diverse is your workforce and network of partners?
However, going global certainly bares tremendous risks and potential pitfalls. It exposes business to clients with different attitudes and ways of thinking. Cultural and social differences make international expansion a huge challenge for business owners who have only operated in their home country so far. Assuming that business strategies which have worked at home successfully will work the same anywhere else is risky. Thus making an effort to understand worldwide business etiquette as well as norms and values in specific countries is a key component of going international. Are you ready for going international?
Text: Jan-Christoph Daniel