Expansion abroad is driven by the potential or the necessity to make better use of the fixed cost base already present. A decision to undertake additional efforts on a project base to derive (additional) value from foreign activities has to be in line with the company’s strategy. Analyzing bottlenecks will reveal what is required for further expansion. Investments should be judged on the basis of their projected return and chance of success.
Intercultural cooperation (communication) regularly turns out to be a stumbling block. It’s also possible that the business model is changed after a while (for example using one’s own organization instead of an agent).
The execution of the strategy may change after a period of successful pioneering. Perhaps the company will build up its own presence abroad (with or without using external skills from a network). The potential is there, but existing obstacles prevent the company from making optimal use of opportunities, as a result of which the fixed cost base is too much of a burden. A growth spurt is called for.
On top of financial elements such as return and risk diversification, advantages may also be found in new opportunities for cooperation, a positive effect on reputation or increased competitive strength due to the fact that the company becomes accustomed to operating in difficult markets.
Identify the skills necessary to realize the growth spurt and summarize them in a pragmatic plan. This should be evaluated regularly and adjusted where needed.
Explanation of the solution
Knowledge of the chain and competitors (market analysis)
In order to assess the potential, an analysis of the market is essential. The question whether it is possible to obtain a position that is both profitable and sustainable needs to be answered.
Daily affairs demand a considerable amount of attention, which means that internationalization may end up with a low priority.
That is unnecessary if one is willing to accept flexible solutions. During the course of the project the company should make sure internationalization obtains a secure place within the organization. Therefore, at least one of the company’s employees should fulfill the role of internationalization champion and act as a linking pin between the internationalization project and the rest of the organization.
Access to a network
Building a network requires substantial efforts. Gaining access to an existing network in which one is able to make use of established links can save a lot of time and increase the chance of success.
Corridors BV is happy to open up its network to its clients.
Competences: The necessary competences and sectors are covered.
Partner: jellow and its corresponding structure.
Government subsidies and other support have become increasingly rare. It would be unwise for the company to proceed with a project that is not viable without such help. A sound budget is called for, even if the project is staffed entirely by the company’s own employees.
Because the foundation has been laid and the company is in a more advanced stage of development, an extension of the network of business partners can be supported if the company so desires.
Explanation of the solution
Decision-making and uncertainty
Decision-making is up to the company’s management of course. However, based on our knowledge and experience we can contribute the necessary elements. This is merely to facilitate the process.
A transparent environment contributes greatly to a solid decision-making process. The highly pragmatic Corridors Connecting Plans Method©is particularly suitable to support proper sharing of information.
The company is the focal point.
Potential difficult to estimate
Companies operate in a dynamic environment and decision-making is not an exact science, just like in other strategic matters. A careful process that measures progress is the maximum achievable.
Solution : Keep the project highly adaptable and plan for milestones at which an evaluation will take place, to facilitate an adjustment if necessary.
Companies from a small country like the Netherlands are often smaller than foreign players. In many cases this leads to tensions in relations, for example between a parent company and its foreign subsidiaries.
This factor should be taken into account, particularly if success is likely to be highly dependent on the bigger party.
Explanation of the solution
Looking for financing? Make optimal use of the momentum by strengthening the company’s team and giving it access to financing based on a sound plan with strong execution power.
Corridors Connecting Plans Method© focuses on the company’s management team. A network of independent professionals can supplement the team if the company so desires. A company may also source additional human resources from its own network if these professionals meet the necessary criteria and feel comfortable with the methodology.
The activity plan
The activity plan is an essential part of the Corridors Connecting Plans Method©. It establishes commitments that should lead to concrete actions. This is a good way to ensure that everybody is on the same page. Moreover, it provides a basis for evaluation and, if necessary, adjustment. Everything is oriented toward optimizing the chance of success through proper preparation.
Team building in an intercultural setting, testing and developing intercultural skills and managing intercultural risks are instruments that management has at its disposal to obtain the best result possible.
Advising and liaising
Many companies experience failure despite serious potential. A good adviser that is able to turn that potential into concrete action reduces the risk that your company falls into this trap. The adviser is critical but constructive, has a helicopter view and specialist project management skills. Our advisers are selected on the basis of these requirements. To benefit from our support, the company needs to be prepared to embark on the road to self-reliance.