Published on June 1st, 2017 | by Guest0
How to Expand Your Business Across Europe
The European Union is the second most lucrative market in the world for companies to do business and prosper. Over 480 million people live in the region and generate an estimated €16.5 trillion in economic activity. This represents a great opportunity for a small company looking to expand its business and capture some of this activity.
Here is an overview of the what you should do to enter into the countries that make up the European Union (as well as European countries that are not part of the union) so you can expand your business offerings into this area of the world.
Utilise Development Agencies
Many European countries have development agencies you can contact that will help you set up operations there. The development agencies can explain the rules and regulations you have to meet to do business in the country. They will also help you through the process of obtaining the immigration documents, visas and/or work permits you and your current employees may need to enter and stay in the country legally while you set up your business.
The development agencies will also help you through the process of registering you and your business with the different government agencies like the United Kingdom Registrar of Companies that will govern you and your business while you operate in that country.
Market Analysis Studies
You should do a market analysis in the country before you go through the often expensive and time-consuming process of expanding your operations there, as to make sure your product or service will be in demand. You should also do an analysis on your competitors to see how your product or service matches up against theirs, and if your price points are in line with the marketplace.
Part of the market analysis should also include things like how your product or service is packaged and/or presented to the consumers in the country. You’ll need to consider things like the languages you’ll use on the labels of your product and advertising campaigns, the design of the packaging or advertisements, and the sensibilities of the consumer. The last thing you want to do is create a package or advertisement that offends the consumer.
Develop a Financial Services Network
You should set up a relationship with a banker to keep your main accounts in the country you want to do business. You should also establish a relationship with a foreign exchange services company – especially if you going to do businesses in multiple countries inside and outside of the European Union. A foreign exchange company will make sure you that the exchange rates on funds is applied properly and all money transfers are handled according to the laws and regulations of each country.
You should obtain the help of a payment services provider to manage the payments of customers from the countries that are members of the European Union and are also located in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). A SEPA software provider will make sure all the direct debits, credit transfers, and debit cards purchases made by customers are collected and deposited into your bank account. This type of service can save you time and money than if you had to do it in-house.
Develop a Supplier Network
You should develop relationships with service and product suppliers in the country. This would include things like obtaining legal representation, local material suppliers, and local hiring agencies. Having a local network you can rely and who knows the territory can be beneficial toward achieving a successful operation.
Buy a Company
The simplest way to expand throughout Europe is to purchase an existing company who is already doing business in the countries you want to do business in, or one that is located in a European Union country. This helps you in several ways: you’ll have a company that is already allowed to operate in the country or countries, you’ll have personnel who know the laws and regulations that have to be followed, and you’ll have people who are knowledgeable of the market and how products should be presented in the marketplace of that country.
Expanding into European countries can take a lot of time and effort, but if you plan properly and make the right connections, the process should go smoothly.