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It can be daunting for startup businesses to explore new territories, but there are a number of steps new companies can take to facilitate expansion. Let’s take a look at some of the considerations you should include.

Planting a seed

Startups should be aware of the importance of “planting a seed” before making the move into a new territory in order to ensure success. This involves early efforts at marketing to ensure people are aware of your brand and conducting market research to determine the level of desire for the services or products you offer. The analysis of market data can help you to identify the optimal region for your company to thrive. Modern data research can include keyword searches in the prospective country and an analysis of the competition for each keyword in the respective market.

All of this should take place before actually committing yourself to the costs involved in expansion. By following these steps, when your startup eventually moves to the new territory, it will have an existing customer base which means you can generate hype more easily.

A ready-made audience of eager Australians

A real-world example of this phenomenon is the arrival of bet365 in Australia. While Australians were well aware of the online betting company from their association with English Premier League club Stoke City, they were not allowed to use the website until 2012. But through sponsorship and the high profile of the company, bet365 was able to establish itself as a major player amongst online bookmakers in the eyes of many Australians. As a result, when the site finally became accessible in Australia, bet365 already had a customer base of sports fans eager to take advantage of its services, including live streams, bonus offers, and a wide range of betting markets.

A similar phenomenon is exemplified by the expansion of Airbnb into Australia. In 2012, the holiday home and apartment rental site identified the Land Down Under as an area of growth, opening an office in Sydney. The company was already well-established in the country, with over one million nights booked on the site by Australians before the official launch date. Again, the high profile of the company facilitated the launch with many millions of Australians aware of the brand in advance.

A digital-first approach

E-commerce provides startups with the opportunity to test new markets without taking risks on costly investments. This approach also involves localising your existing website to ensure it meets the expectations of the prospective customer base in terms of language, currency, and cultural sensitivities.

Localisation also involves the use of local knowledge to ensure your business strategy is optimised to calibrate with customer behaviour in a different region. In this regard, it is essential to build a team of local talent that can provide information and a knowledge base of local markets, media, advertising expectations, and customs, so that you can make the necessary adaptations to your overall strategy. This is particularly important for UK startups experiencing rapid growth.    

When the US company Dropbox opened an office in Sydney in 2014, the file-sharing service had two main objectives. The aim was to gain access to the untapped market and also to benefit from the talented Australian workforce in terms of IT admin and sales. This was facilitated by acquiring Australian companies such as Macquarie Group, Mirvac and Atlassian as business customers. This created an opportunity to establish Dropbox in the public consciousness and highlight the practical use of the service to local companies.

Hopefully this guide will have given you some inspiration if you are looking to expand your startup into new regions. There are practical steps you can take in order to lay the groundwork so you can hit the ground running when you make your move into new territories.