The CFO’s Secret to Global Business Expansion: Keep Costs Low and Expansion Fast

For many companies, expanding internationally has become less an option and more an imperative. Moving overseas can open new revenue opportunities for companies bumping up against market share limitations in their home country. It can give new life to mature products that have reached the end of their lifecycle in their home market, but could still be competitive in another. By quickly beating competitors into a new territory, companies may also be able to capture and benefit from first-mover advantages.

Beyond seeking to tap new markets, companies increasingly are looking offshore for talent. Technology now makes it possible to field a workforce every bit as distributed as their supply chain. Employers can now access the best employees they can get, wherever they may be found— and in some cases, no matter where those employees want to work.

Pursuing and achieving these goals can be exhilarating. It also can be fraught with challenges—especially for companies unaccustomed to navigating the legal, regulatory and cultural terrain of an unfamiliar locale. Indeed, in a new survey of senior finance executives working at companies where expansion abroad is par of their long-term strategy, 51% report that legal, HR, or tax compliance challenges have
been a substantial barrier to implementing their international strategy. The survey was conducted by CFO Research, in collaboration with Globalization Partners.

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