Building a successful business is one thing, but building a successful business with a presence in tens of countries around the world is another. I’m Craig Dempsey, the founder of the Biz Latin Hub Group, and in just four years, I have expanded my business into countries like Australia, Brazil, the UK, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. Below, I share some of the ways in which I have grown my business in international markets, and offer advice to those who want to do the same.
I’m an Australian national and started my career working for the armed forces in Australia, where I completed combat tours across Asia and the Middle East. I still offer my assistance on a part-time basis when I’m in the country — it’s always good to go back. After I finished up with the armed forces, I transitioned into mining, where I worked in managerial roles across Australia, as well as Canada, Colombia and Peru. During my time in the latter two, I realised just how huge the opportunity was for Western businesses to expand into Latin America and did my research.
Soon after, I co-founded the Biz Latin Hub Group with my co-founder David Wright, who is from the United Kingdom. That was back in 2014, and just four years later, we now offer our services in countries like Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, El Salvador, Ecuador and Brazil, and we’re always looking to expand and add new countries to our roster. It’s been a challenging journey, and certainly hasn’t been easy, but one I’ll never forget.
The Biz Latin Hub
The Biz Latin Hub offers a range of back-office support services for local and foreign businesses that want to enter into Latin American markets. We offer services like recruitment, commercial representation, market entry, company formation and so much more. Our valuate proposition is linked to our ability to ‘bridge the gap’ between foreign and LATAM markets and cultures, and help businesses from countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada sell more of their products and services in lucrative markets, without having to do so on their own.
One of the reasons I think our business has been so successful in such a short space of time is because we care about what we do, and we only hire people with first-class local knowledge. It’s never been easier to expand your business into a LATAM market, but it’s still a very daunting process for a business that has no experience in entering new markets, and we like to think that we take away the pressure and make the process as easy as possible. Whether we’re recruiting for a local marketing manager who understands the product and can speak the language, or we are overcoming challenges with employee visas, we do so with experience and a real passion.
The rise in international expansion
Wherever you look, you can find evidence of our new globalised world. Whether it’s McDonald’s franchises popping up in every country around the world, or the rise and dominance of online retailers like Amazon, it’s impossible to hide that the world is changing. And as a business, you can either sit back and watch change happen, or you can be brave and embrace new things. Of course, not every business can expand into new markets like Latin America, because there isn’t the demand or they don’t have the funds necessary to do so, but you’d be surprised at just how many businesses are looking for new opportunities to take their businesses to the next level.
Mexico, for example, offers some incredible opportunities for Western entrepreneurs who want to get ahead of their competition. The country has a booming economy and a growing middle class — all of whom are potential customers. The sooner you embrace these new opportunities, the sooner you can grow your profits and future-proof your organisation in these changing times.
Expanding into new markets
If you’re thinking about expanding your business in new markets, here are my three words of advice: just do it! It’s so easy to spend months or even years weighing up the opportunity costs and risk-proofing, but if you don’t grab huge opportunities with both hands, someone else will get there before you. Time and time again I see international businesses looking to enter LATAM, but they are too scared that they’ll fail or that it will be too expensive to do so. In the meantime, whilst they’re toing and froing, their competitors are entering the markets, growing their brand awareness and making it impossible for other businesses to make money.
Of course, I’m not saying that you should jump right into expansion overnight. Look at markets across Latin America to find gaps in the market, explore your competition, and accept the fact that you’ll have to work really hard to convince consumers that you’re the right option. People are loyal to existing brands — especially local brands — and so if you want to dominate your niche, you’ll have to go above and beyond and show people why you’re the very best at what you do.
It’s never too soon to expand. It may be that you’ve only been in business for six months, but you have spotted a gap in the market. With the Biz Latin Hub, our entire business model is centred around offering international services, so we had to expand virtually overnight. Rather than splashing out on expensive offers or recruitment drives, though, you can save money by interviewing over the phone or via Skype, or even using Professional Employer Organisations.
I think it’s important that businesses of all shapes and sizes know just how many opportunities there are out there — and demand for your products and services goes far beyond your own country, which is why I’d like to have expanded into more territories in the coming years. We’re already working to open offices in Sydney, Australia and London, England, and we’ll no doubt add more locations as we seek to help more businesses. I’d love to think that we could have a specialist in every country around the world, and I think with some more hard work from our team, we’ll be able to do it! And for entrepreneurs like you — it’s time to get started. Good