What do you have to look into when considering international expansion? In this episode we interview Cynthia Dearin from Dearin & Associates about what to do and why you need advice.
In Show 033 – International Expansion originally broadcast on Facebook Live on Wednesday 15 November 2017 we explore this interesting topic.
As part of our larger discussion about how to effectively expand we wanted talk today about taking your business international. To that end we have invited an expert on how to go global. Cynthia Dearin has led a remarkable life working as an entrepreneur overseas. She is the CEO of the International Business Accelerator and has written the best-selling book Camels, Sheiks and Billionaires. She has worked in the Arab world for many years both as a diplomat and a management consultant.
Cynthia initially worked as a diplomat including a four year stint in Iraq during the worst fighting there between 2006 and 2010. She says that her time there developed the skills to solve problems under extreme stress. She returned home to her native Australia and worked with the Arab Chamber of Commerce. It was in that period that many foreign companies were trying to expand into the Middle East with little to no success. In 2012 she created Dearin and Associates to help change that. Her goal is to help small businesses to expand into new markets around the world.
Cynthia has always had a passion for business and international affairs. She was selling oranges by the roadside as a little girl and had always wanted to eventually found her own business. Cynthia travelled extensively with her parents as a child and learned several foreign languages over that time. After the whirlwind of working in a conflict zone for half a decade she decided to finally chase the dream of running her own company.
The International Business Accelerator was created with the belief that there is no better time for small businesses to expand overseas. International trade is at an all-time high. Middle-classes are cropping up in dozens of developing nations. Those people have expendable income which has created huge new markets to exploit. The things that your business is doing now are applicable in other countries. Her mission is to empower small business to expand overseas. Even the smallest company deserves the opportunity to succeed in other countries. The problem is that there is very little information about how to do that. You need help.
You have to have a strategy before you try and expand overseas. Cynthia offers an end to end program for companies to learn about international business. The first part of her program focusses on skills and knowledge. Is your company ready to do this? Have you chosen the right market? Have you addressed the cultural differences? These are questions the IBA helps you to answer. The IBA also focusses on accountability. New clients are partnered with more experienced peers to keep a subtle pressure on you and your company to keep working. It helps to foster competition. Community is also a big part of the IBA. Using Facebook and live events, the IBA helps members to exchange ideas and strategies amongst themselves.
Cynthia believes that most kinds of businesses can expand internationally. Whether you are a goods or services company, you have something that can succeed elsewhere. As long as your business is fairly well established and successful you can move overseas. Overseas expansion is not inexpensive. It’s going to cost money and you need to have a reasonable amount of cash flow to support that. That said, size isn’t that important. Cynthia works with business quite small with between 1 and 10 employees.
There are plenty of mistakes that can you will make along the way. Cynthia once had a client who wanted to expand overseas. He was adamant that he wanted to expand quickly but he ignored some fundamental steps. You have to have a good strategy in place before you start going overseas. If you do that you are going to ruin your reputation. You don’t want to use overseas expansion as an excuse to travel. Not all mistakes are fatal, but they can be fatal.
The IBA program is a 12 month, module based system. Cynthia comes from a consulting background where she did a lot of bespoke projects for companies. When it came to the IBA she realized she couldn’t do that because it was too expensive for smaller companies. Instead she created the IBA with a system that could be applicable to a large number of companies.
If you want to learn more about Cynthia or the IBA you can visit these links:
More about this Show
We started Business Legal Lifecycle to create a simple way for you to understand complex legal terms. Most importantly we want to help you to develop a plan to take your business successfully into the future. There’s a startling statistic the underscores the importance of developing a solid plan. The majority of business owners are just seven months away from losing everything. A single aspect of your business that is not set-up correctly can shut down your whole operation very quickly. Legal advice is not cheap and even when you can afford it there is often a divide between lawyers and their clients. We want to close that gap once and for all. We want to put legal knowledge and tools into your hand to prevent the worst from happening to you.
Twice a week we are going to deliver those tools right to your home or office with Business Legal Lifecycle TV. We’ll start the week with Fast Fix Monday, a short 5-10 minute video that will tackle a single issue that businesses have to deal with. Then on Wednesday’s our main show will feature with more fulsome discussions and interviews all delivered in a straightforward and easy to understand format.