Insights into global expansion & employee retention

Published: October 22, 2021

How to Land & Expand Business Overseas (without New Offices)

Expanding business overseas sounds like an agenda point in the meeting minutes of companies with deep pockets and a diverse management team able to make it happen.
global expansion

Whether you’re an established brand building specialised, remote teams abroad or a smaller, independent business hiring a couple of rare talents, expanding business overseas needn’t be prohibitively complex. Especially if your overseas expansion plan doesn’t include setting up new offices.

Step 1: Remove ‘Create Office Entities’ From Your ‘To-Do’

Playroll has been building global, remote teams for so long, that we’ve created a multi-country network of ready-made, fully-owned physical employment entities. A.K.A your ‘plug-and-play’ shortcut past the cost, local-compliance complexity, risk and obligations of setting up overseas payroll for new talent abroad.

What does that mean for you?

It means all you need to focus on is planning costs for making your first overseas hires.

We can help with that too—your free Playroll dashboard comes packed with an HR Cost Calculator and Country Insights Encyclopedia, so you can start planning new hires without being billed until they actually sign a locally-compliant work contract—Playroll creates them for you in minutes and just a few clicks.

Now you just need to figure out if overseas expansion is a good idea.

Planning overseas expansion

Before even committing to a decision on whether or not to take your spices and your silks overseas to new markets, you’ll need a formal runup that helps you decide ‘yes, I should expand’ or ‘whoa, not so fast. You’re not ready’.

That formal, substantive runup should consist of several formal steps:

1. Back your ‘hunch’ with substance

The likelihood is you’re half-decided already on overseas expansion.

Is your half-in decision just a hunch that ‘it’s time?’ If ‘yes’, it’s encouraging, though on its own a hunch is a shaky starting point.

While hunches can be useful emotional indicators, ‘it feels right’ needs to be quantified and evidence-backed.

  • Have you received active demand and interest from overseas?
  • If not, are you confident you can generate it?
  • Is the talent you need scarce or unavailable in your corner of the world?
  • Are similarly-placed competitors already winning overseas? Will your business stagnate or fail if you don’t take the leap?

If you can answer ‘yes’ confidently to any of these questions, then you should at least follow your hunch and qualify plans for expansion abroad further.

2. Audit the opportunity

Once you’ve clearly defined a baseline rationale and a case for expanding business overseas, you’ll need to fill in the gaps with a formal plan and opportunity analysis.

This should include:

  • A feasible timeline: with committed dates for milestones such as researching local compliance and employment regulation in the counties you’ll be expanding to—plus recruiting, shortlisting, interviewing and hiring.
  • An internal review: of your proposition, offering, services and products to make sure they’re market-ready. For example, will you have to localise content? Are your products and services regulated differently in your new target regions?
  • A clear budget and monthly spend KPIs: factoring for your first year of overseas operations. Hire through Playroll, you won’t need to include certain costs like hiring a local-payroll agent or creating a new-office employer entity per country. We’ve got all that covered.
  • Local market assessment: that might take shape as a SWOT analysis of the local environment, market size, regulations, competitors, customer base, audience perspectives and attitudes, local economic and social conditions, marketing channel availability, etc.

3. Plan your hires

Whether you’re hiring one rare talent in another country or a specialised muti-country remote team, you’ll need to plan your hiring costs in advance.

Remember, unless you’re hiring with the help of an Employer of Record partner like Playroll, you’ll likely need to factor in hiring a local payroll agent to keep you compliant and possibly a 3rd person to take care of tax.

Remember also that—if you’re hiring a mix of contractors and permanent employees—you’ll need to be crystal clear on how each host country treats employee classification.

Some countries, like Canada, may treat some contractors as permanent employees.

In France, it’s a good idea to register contractors with the Commercial and Companies Registry or the Commercial Agents Register to reduce the risk of having French regulators classify your contractors as employees.

It gets pretty messy the more countries you need to research with endless caveats and things to know.

Log into your Playroll dashboard for free to start planning new-hire costs with Playroll’s HR Cost Calculator.

You’ll also grow your local employment-law knowledge using our Country Insights Encyclopedia and HR Cost Calculator.

Finally, Adapt Your Expansion Plan Per Country

If you’ve planned, evaluated and assessed properly, your overseas ‘hire, land and expand’ plan could plug you into significant growth opportunities.

As we’ve seen here, though, getting around the local compliance, cost and employment law barriers of one country doesn’t mean your plan gives you a skeleton key to get into another.

Your process might be thorough, but an approach to one region won’t automatically fit another.

Even once you’re up and running with your new remote hires, they’ll have expectations on how they’re paid, and you’ll have payroll obligations to meet.

Schedule your Playroll demo—you’ll discover how you can offload all of those worries, costs and obligations to us.

Meanwhile, you can keep planning yet more compliant, effortless new hires to grow your overseas teams, presence and profits with minimal risk and expense.

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