4 Things to Know Before Scaling Globally

Expanding services and going global is no longer a matter of “if.” It’s a matter of when.

Published on Feb. 01, 2024
4 Things to Know Before Scaling Globally
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Modern business relationships are becoming more complex — and it’s a positive change. While digitization erases borders and reveals new sources of revenue, it also exposes issues that demand a more diversified and collaborative approach. To maximize the value that we can gain from this demand, technology companies are prompted to reach beyond their current region and brave into new territories.

Before companies can reap the benefits, though, there are risks to address. How do you identify the perfect region for expansion? How do you onboard new experts and tune them to the company’s workflow? Where can you find brand advocates to assist with client generation?

Here’s what I learned from my experience as an IT professional opening new offices in Poland and outlining strategy for the Latin America market.

4 secrets to scaling to the global market

  1. Choose your market wisely.
  2. Secure client commitment.
  3. Build an ambassador team.
  4. Ensure global accessibility.

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1. Choose Your Expansion Market Wisely

Each time my team and I explored a new market, we paid attention to the need for our services, the interest in the technology we’re experienced with and the budget for investing in digital transformation. If all three key elements overlapped, it meant we found our destination. What came next was detailed research, complete with pain point identification and general market growth monitoring. 

In my case, Poland happened to be the perfect fit for scaling. We put together a large analytical study based on agency reports, region-specific sources and insights from partners and clients operating in the region. We were then able to paint the full picture of the potential we could tap into by opening a new office there. As soon as we were certain that our resources aligned with the opportunities, we proceeded with our expansion strategy.


2. Secure Client Commitment

Preparations for scaling services don’t stop at finding a profitable client market. If an enterprise finds a promising market, its competitors already have their sights on that market as well. When you find the market you want, you need to enter it within a relatively short time, getting ahead of the competition. But first, make sure you’re wanted there.

You need client commitment before you invest in the effort. In our case, we had a number of clients who were familiar with the IT market who were partnered with many businesses in Poland and would benefit from our office being in their area.

We kept close contact with them, exploring the value angle and the issues we could tackle by expanding to their region. Once we secured their commitment to new engagements and the expansion of our current ones, we started working on opening an office in Warsaw. With our committed supporters and advocates, we were able to establish our presence in the new market shortly after arrival.


3. Build an Ambassador Team

Assembling teams for an office abroad requires an understanding of the nuances and values of the region. While learning new perspectives and hiring new talents will enrich your company immensely, make sure that your unique company culture, approach to work and quality standards translate to the new area. 

We started with selecting five to 10 experts from our main office. These people became our ambassador team, the bearers of our values. We entrusted them with setting up the processes in our Warsaw office and overseeing the cultural integration of the new location into our general framework. The ambassador team has three main priorities.


Hiring and onboarding teams

Brand ambassadors are responsible for interviewing local experts to join the team and finding the best fit regarding mindset, skills and values. They also build synergy between the teams, helping them adjust to the company’s approach to quality and meeting client expectations. This is a process of mutual learning, as the ambassadors immerse themselves into the region-sensitive requirements and industrial pains that are relevant to the company in that specific location. 


Selecting tools

Additionally, ambassadors ensure that the teams in the new office are able to work with the tech stack the company uses to provide services. They achieve this by hiring local experts familiar with the technology and providing the education necessary for new hires to master and familiarize themselves with the tools. 


Encouraging autonomy

The endgame for the ambassador team is to create an independent environment that, while fully tuned to the company culture, doesn’t require headquarter surveillance to deliver brand expertise and secure an unchanging service quality. The ambassador team must encourage creativity and proactivity as well as nurture new potential company culture bearers to oversee future processes and make decisions.


4. Ensure Global Accessibility

Even if you start with opening an office in one region, you should do so with the bigger picture in mind. If opening offices across the globe is your endgame, you must think about securing 24/7 accessibility right here, right now.


Build diverse teams

Leaders must predict how their teams will interact with clients who have cultures or native languages different from their own. Finding a fit between the teams and the markets they can engage in — from language skills and culture to understanding the issues and challenges of the market — will eventually allow the company to cover all time zones with high-value prospects that can be converted into loyal clients.


Establish hybrid flexibility

Keep hybrid work models in mind when scaling to the global market. Employers need to provide the new office with the tools for working in any timezone. A friction-free and flexible scaling also requires introducing well fleshed out policies, routines and security guidelines regarding the hybrid work approach.

Work on this in advance, checking in with the region-specific norms and regulations. Providing the team with the shared digital tools to communicate, collaborate and create content is also necessary for productivity and introducing agile performance.

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Pinpoint Your Value and Keep Building

Whenever we’re interested in exploring a new market, we should always keep one simple thing in mind: Nobody is waiting for us there. Entering a new market will always have pitfalls and challenges. The leader’s goal is to minimize them by finding potential anchors, such as identifying the value their company will bring to the new location, exploring its customer relationships and finding new ways to secure commitment.

Always plan ahead to avoid roadblocks on the long-term growth journey. Once the company starts scaling, it’s expected to keep expanding its services, which requires investment in human resources, culture development and awareness of market patterns.

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