Business expansion is a necessary step in growing any business. But, taking your business global requires careful planning and diligent evaluation of your target market. A poor strategy or implementation thereof can dampen your expansion efforts and slow your growth.
Unless you’re willing to invest the sizeable internal resources required when expanding internationally, it’s worth considering the services of a business expansion consultant.
Benefits of Hiring a Business Expansion Consultant
Among other things, the international expansion process requires market analysis, research, planning and the implementation of a detailed action plan. As such, a business expansion consultant can help you with the following:
- Market definition and analysis
This includes defining your targeted demographic, their interests, needs and location. It’s also important to conduct thorough market research to ascertain barriers to entry, competitors, projected demand and market growth rates. You’ll need this information to determine if your business is ready to tackle new market dynamics.
- Evaluate internal competences
A business expansion consultant will also look at your current team’s capacity to handle future growth. Do you have the right mix of in-house skills and resources to handle the inevitable growth that comes with expanding into new markets? Will you need to hire additional staff? Do you have the right network in place? A business marketing consultant will take care of most of most of these requirements.
- Evaluate market entry methods
There are many different ways to enter a new market, and a consultant will help you determine the best option for your business. Depending on your business model, you can expand through organic investment into an existing enterprise or by acquiring an existing business as a going concern.
Either way, you’ll need a detailed business plan, work plan, milestones with tasks and time lines, meetings with owners, etc. All of this is time consuming work that you wouldn’t want to sacrifice any of your team members for. Rather let an experienced professional deal with the finer details while you continue to operate the existing aspect of your business.
- Access to relevant expertise:
An experienced consultant comes with a useful network that can help you achieve your goals more efficiently. They’re connected with local experts, regulators, and an international professional employer organization that take years to build relationships with.
- An agent of change:
Because a business consultant is not involved in office politics and other day-to-day internal issues that might affect performance, he’s able to provide an objective perspective on the strategies and actions needed to achieve your goals.
Tips for Hiring a Business Expansion Consultant
- Be Specific:
It’s important to choose a consultant whose services are relevant to what you’re trying to achieve. Keep in mind that there are all types of different business consultants, and your goal should be to hire a business consultant who specializes in expansion.
- Consider the Cost:
Large business consulting firms are usually not transparent with their fees. The cost varies according to individual client needs, services rendered and the specific region. On average, a large consultation firm will charge you anything between $3, 000 to $6, 000 per hour on average, whereas individual consultants are willing to work for a percentage (14%) of the project fee.
- Be clear about what you want:
Make sure the consultant you hire provides you with detailed action steps to help you implement the strategies provided, as well as ongoing support thereafter. Include this specification in your contract to ensure that you have something to show for your investment in their services.
Hiring a business consultant can be a game changer for your business, especially if you plan to expand into new markets. They’ll assist you with strategies, advice, techniques and information needed for a smooth transition to a different market.
Either way, a business consultant works as a sort of problem-solver who’s there to help you side-step some of the landmines that you’re bound to encounter. Unlike a mentor who is only there when you ask for advice, a business consultant is the ultimate partner whose sole mission is to ensure your business’ success from the moment you hire them. Hiring a business expansion consultant is a necessary and rewarding investment.