Factors To Consider Before Expanding Your Business Into Europe

If you have built up a successful business and you are hoping to take it to the next level then it may be time to consider expanding into Europe. 

While such a significant move may seem counter-intuitive in the wake of Brexit, it is still a viable and potentially even profitable possibility – albeit one that presents its fair share of obstacles. However, if you are willing to try and surmount those obstacles, there are a number of particularly attractive advantages to European expansion. These include easy access to a vast market and a highly educated workforce. 

If you are confident that your business has a strong enough foundation and enough of a financial foothold to make European expansion both achievable and worthwhile, read on to discover some of the most important factors you should consider before you begin. 

Research Is Key To Successful Expansion

Conducting market research in Europe is the first and perhaps most vital step you should take before commencing expansion. You need to be sure that there is enough demand for your products or services to make the move a viable option. You also need to educate yourself on your European competition, how they are faring, and what kinds of marketing strategies they use. 

Having a thorough understanding of the lie of the land will give your expansion a much better chance of succeeding than if you go in underprepared. 

You Need To Consider Local Laws, Taxation And Compliance 

In the wake of Brexit, expanding your business into Europe is now much more complicated than it used to be, involving a significant amount of red tape. While this may make your European growth seem particularly daunting, it is still achievable given the right amount of research and preparation. 

Familiarising yourself with the local regulations regarding compliance and taxation, as well as the more specific laws linked to your particular sector, is essential if you want to avoid any penalties and remain on the right side of European law. 

Forming Local Partnerships Can Benefit Your Growth 

When it comes to expansion, some businesses opt to go it alone and set up their new branches single handedly. However, others decide to go for a more collaborative approach, forming a partnership with a local company in their industry. 

While the latter option will throw up some unique hurdles of its own, having local cooperation will also bring with it some substantial benefits, as you will gain inside knowledge and assistance regarding every aspect of setting up your business. 

Speaking of setting up, it’s also important to create your own European business bank account. If you are wondering how to do this in the simplest way possible, you may want to go for a non-traditional route as opposed to using an established bank. Financial technology specialists such as Silverbird allow you to open an international bank account in a quick and simple process; so whether you want to know how to open a UK business bank account for a non-resident or create your business bank account to accept multiple currencies, they provide the solution. 

Prepare For Significant Challenges

While your expansion to Europe is sure to be a thrilling prospect, with the potential to provide you with many opportunities you may not otherwise have been able to grasp, it’s still important to prepare for the worst. You need to have contingency plans in place to help you cope with the various obstacles that you might face during the expansion process.

After all, these are difficult times. The after-effects of Covid-19 are still with us, and Brexit has brought about numerous changes in how business is conducted across borders. The conflict in Europe has also had its impact on businesses across the continent, particularly when it comes to the cost of fuel and energy. 

As a result, while it’s important to remain positive and seek new opportunities and collaborations on European soil, it’s also wise to be prepared for various challenges. Making sure you have the resources to weather a few storms along the way will give your expansion the best chance of succeeding. 

Focus On The Long-Term

Finally, on a related note, it’s recommended that you focus on long-term goals as you proceed with your expansion into Europe. Expecting immediate profits and successes may not be realistic in these uncertain times – although, at the same time, that does not mean they are not achievable. However, if you only focus on meeting short-term targets, you and your teams may find yourselves struggling to allocate resources wisely and neglecting the more fundamental task of cementing your place in Europe. 

By choosing to focus on long-term achievements instead – and by concentrating on building up a solid reputation in your new location – you will create a stronger foundation for your business. European expansion may seem daunting and will undoubtedly present some significant obstacles, but with the right amount of preparation, perseverance and resources, it may turn out to be one of the best business decisions your company ever made.