Before you expand globally, think about this… – Pick Dave’s Brain

This week’s question comes from Grant in Perth, Australia. He asks:

Q: We’ve built an Australian B2B software company over the past five years with sales of $10 million. We’re ready for the next step. What’s the fastest way to globally scale the product?

Click to tweet this: Before playing “The Game of Global Domination,” understand the RISK. Then divide and conquer. @DaveCenshaw

Video transcript:

What if you’ve been successful in the land down under and now you want to expand to the land up and over? I’m Dave Crenshaw, and it’s time to Pick Dave’s Brain.

This week’s question comes from Grant in Perth, Australia. He asks:

Grant:

We’ve built an Australian B2B software company over the past five years with sales of $10 million. We’re ready for the next step. What’s the fastest way to globally scale the product?

Dave Crenshaw:

Hi, Grant. This is a fascinating question and admittedly a complex one. First of all, congrats on your success. I’m not going to be able to address in a couple of minute video all the ins and outs of expanding internationally.

What I can do is cover a few of the pitfalls that I’ve seen international entrepreneurs experience. The first and most important question to ask yourself is why. What is it about international expansion that you find so appealing? Is it your dream or is it someone else’s dream?

What I mean by that is sometimes entrepreneurs get caught in the trap of chasing the kind of success that other people have had. I’m not saying that you are not capable of it. What I’m saying is it may not be right for you and you want to consider the cost of that kind of expansion because–trust me–the cost is very high.

You’re going to have to expand your workforce. You’re going to have to hire a diverse group of employees, and you’re going to have to manage that group. You’re going to have to invest more. You’re going to have to learn international IP law. The list just goes on and on and on.

What you want to ask yourself is, do I have enough? Is the kind of life I’m living right now, the kind of business that I have right now, enough for what really satisfies my needs?

But if, after considering the costs, you still believe that this is the right path for you and you want to achieve world domination in a way that only an entrepreneur can believe in, then consider this one phrase—“Get out of your own way.” When you expand internationally, you’re putting yourself into a situation where there’s just way too much complexity for any one person to handle.

So you’ve got two options. Number one, hire people who have experience with expanding internationally. These are people who, perhaps, have experience in a particular country, or they’ve expanded internationally for other businesses in the past. Paying the money to hire someone who has this level of expertise is well worth the investment.

Or, your other option is to partner with other companies that specialize in global expansion. Perhaps you can find a company that redistributes your powerful IP with your software. Or you find a licenser or any kind of opportunity where you can use the expertise of another company to help you expand. These options allow you to focus on what you truly do best, which is make software.

Thanks for the fascinating question, Grant.

And if you’ve got a question for me to tackle, all you have to do is click on the button at the bottom of this video or go to www.davecrenshaw.com/ask.

I look forward to hearing your fascinating question!


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