May 4, 2011

4 Reasons to Buy Firms in Foreign Countries

Thinking of expanding your business to another country? Good idea. For one thing, the cost of labor in developing countries is cheaper. Your export department may have exceeded your expectations but you might find that running your business from your home country can be expensive. Plus the fact that you're living in a different time zone can be a constraint to your competitiveness in a foreign market.
These reasons may prompt you to build an office in the country or countries you are currently exporting to. So what should you do? One option that is clearly feasible is to buy a firm in the country or countries that you are doing business with.

Why You should Consider Buying an Existing Foreign Business:

  1. Since it is an existing business, it has already cemented a relationship with suppliers, customers and other trade references. You could take advantage of this because it has connections with the local market so you would just need to bolster those relationships and make them work with you. This would take some time but if you think about it, gathering these connections from scratch would be more time-consuming than starting where the previous owner left off. You save the time and the trouble of finding suppliers, buying equipments and building a customer base yourself. 
  2. Storefronts, factories and key personnel are already in place. Even if you do not travel to and from your home country, you would have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that there's already a foundation that you can build on. How solid this foundation is and could be is now entirely up to you and to the people you left in charge.
  3. The previous owner can give you a wealth of information about the demand for your product, your competitors and how they fare in the market, annual sales, and other variables.
  4. You could get a good bargain on the price. Building your own office outside of your home country can be expensive and time-consuming. Some business owners may be willing to give up ownership of their existing businesses and it would cost you less to buy it than build an office abroad from scratch.
If you do decide to set up an office in another country, whether you are going to build one from the ground up or buy an existing business, it is still of gravest importance that you do a lot of research. Take things into consideration and once you have decided, then go ahead and take the leap.

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