When it comes to expanding your operations overseas and accessing new target markets, there are many different foreign market entry strategies to consider – all that come with their own pros and cons, risks and complexities, challenges and opportunities.

For companies looking to go multinational, there are many reasons for international expansion, besides market share and the market entry strategy you choose can impact how you reach your growth goals.

Perhaps you want to launch a back-office facility to reduce head office costs. You might be looking to offer 24-hour services to your customers and need a base in a different time zone, or maybe you’re looking to diversify through various routes to market. Maybe you’re wanting your own production centre to ease quality control monitoring. Or you might simply want to reduce supply chain issues by being nearer the source.

In this article, Claudia Nunes, our Director International Corporations, reviews four of the common foreign market mode of entry strategies you could consider for your global expansion.

Different types of international expansion strategies

Here we share the four common market entry strategies to consider for international expansion. Which one will you choose for your global business?

Multidomestic

By multidomestic, we mean entering different markets within the same country. For example, New York and Honolulu, or Barcelona and Tenerife – both within the same country, but completely different markets, requiring different strategies.

The other major factor of a multidomestic model is that both units would be in control of their own separate strategic and operational decision-making – as these may very well need to be customised for the specific market. It essentially means giving your generals command and control of your full arsenal, so make sure you have trusted people in place.

Multidomestic expansion also gives you a portfolio of local subsidiaries that are scalable according to performance, gives you easy access to local competitive advantages (shipping, labour, resources), and gives you a stronger foothold in a local market — you can build from your reputation in the other locale. Going the multidomestic route not only increases your brand visibility but gives you a chance to refine your marketing approaches.

While success depends on the quality of your local resources, local knowledge and local expertise, the multidomestic route lets you quickly evaluate what works and what doesn’t.

Global expansion strategy

This strategy is centralised and controlled by head office, with the aim of maximising efficiency. Products are more likely to be standardized than tailored to local markets, and the subsidiary entities (or strategic business units) in each country are interdependent and integrated, producing economies of scale and rolling innovation out across all locations.

This strategy is often used by firms with ‘service units’ or back-office hubs and (thanks to the consistent products on offer) these can be located where most cost-effective. While good for the bottom line, though, this cost-effective strategy may affect brand reputation.

Transnational strategy

Often called the best of both worlds, the transnational expansion strategy is a common route to expansion. Transnational businesses operate with a head office in one country and local subsidiaries in international markets – providing one ‘umbrella’ brand to provide structure and operational processes, while international subsidiaries optimise their output for local markets as needed.

While the transnational route is the most variable, it can lead to specific difficulties – for example balancing corporate decisions and local requirements, or product range complexity derived from localizing products or services to local markets. While some companies choose to localise and follow a more multidomestic route, others opt for the standardisation of the global expansion route.

Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is made when a business takes controlling ownership in a company, sector, individual, or entity in another country. While an FDI may come via a merger or acquisition, it’s often not a full company purchase, just a controlling share.

This puts the foreign company in direct control of day-to-day tasks, resulting in a transfer of skills, experience and technology, alongside the financial investment. FDIs are most common in open economies with skilled workforces, providing all the essential keys for growth.

FDI gives firms the opportunity to properly analyse the new country, the market, the cultural differences and the business fabric, before making further decisions on extending ownership or branching out.

Conclusion

We’ve discussed four common market entry strategies for your global expansion and the key benefits of all four is that they can help you achieve business growth – so choose the strategy that will suit your business best when growing global.

And, partnering with expert providers like Auxadi can help make that process as seamless and easy as possible.

We do this by becoming an extension of your finance department. We service clients in over 50 jurisdictions meaning our team of experts are knowledgeable on local and global requirements and are on hand to care of your accounting, payroll, and tax compliance needs.

We serve more than 1,700 clients including some of the world’s largest multinational companies, from many different sectors, and they access information on their international subsidiaries through our unique MySPV technology platform, which offers real-time data customised to their needs.

Get in touch today to discover how our team of experts can help with your global expansion.

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Claudia Nunes
Director International Corporations

Local Knowledge – International Coverage

Founded in 1979, Auxadi is a family-owned business working for multinational corporations, private equity funds and real estate funds. It’s the leading firm in international accounting, tax compliance and payroll services management connecting Europe and the Americas with the rest of the world, offering services in 50 countries. Its client list includes many of the top 100 PERE companies. Headquartered in Madrid, with offices in US and further 22 international subsidiaries, Auxadi serves 1,500+ SPVs across 50 jurisdictions.

All information contained in this publication is up to date on 2022. This content has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this chart without obtaining specific professional advice.No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this content, and, to the extent permitted by law, AUXADI does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this chart or for any decision based on it.