The secret to setting up a business in a new territory?

setting up a business in a new territory

Setting up a business in a new territory can be a daunting prospect. We asked contributors to September’s Director magazine for their expert advice. Here’s what they said…

Ed Holroyd offers advice on setting up a business in a new territoryEd Holroyd Pearce, director CRCC Asia
A combination of local understanding and maintaining flexibility (and having contingency funds) if things don’t go quite as planned. Having a US investor was a bonus when we first entered the US market – it was a soft landing. Likewise, starting a programme in Hong Kong when we already had a team operating in Shenzhen over the border also helped. @crccasia

Holroyd Pearce describes how his company expanded internationally here


Gerry Brown advices on how to get more from your non-executive directorGerry Brown, chairman of NovaQuest Capital Management
One of the best ways to develop in new markets is through partnering. By partnering with a well-known Japanese bank we have been offered excellent introductions to leading Japanese pharma companies. The bank has also seconded staff so that the partnering can be more productive. This has helped with the cultural, language and legal issues.

Brown shows you how to get more from your non-executive directors here


Denise Smiles offers advice on setting up a business in a new territoryDenise Smiles, CEO of  Optical Metrology Services
It’s about sufficient research and understanding local laws (particularly with regard to tax) and determining client need. Once a territory has been identified by our business development director, and our strategy for entering the market developed, we use UKTI’s Overseas Market Introduction Service to indentify opportunities. @omsmeasure

Read how OMS grew from a garage-based start-up to international success here

Rhydian Lewis offers advice on setting up a business in a new territoryRhydian Lewis, 
CEO of  RateSetter
Don’t spread yourself too thin. We saw a perfect opportunity in Australia, but it would have been ludicrous for the team here to split themselves between the UK and Australia. We have a great team there that knows the local market better than we do. I don’t think we’d have been able to do a good job running both territories at the same time. @RateSetter

Lewis took part in our roundtable on the pensions market


Phil Jones Brother UK advises Provenance founder Jessi BakerPhil Jones, managing director, Brother UK
It’s important to do your research before you set up in a new territory. Each territory has its own customs, culture and colloquialisms when doing business. So make sure you figure out the syntax, conventions and approaches that you will need to position your product or service successfully – both culturally and commercially. @philjones40

Read Jones’s advice to a start-up on intent on winning its first big-name customer here


Alex Mitchell IoD 99 Youth Day Google London CampusAlex Mitchell, chair of IoD 99
Surround yourself with people who are better than you. This is never truer than when going into a new market. Understanding the local way of doing business, and employing a person from the region to lead the project, is hugely beneficial. Using resources such as the IoD Information and Advisory Service has also helped me. @AlexDMitchell

Mitchell describes how the IoD’s peer-to-peer initiative is deepening the talent pool here

Read more advice on setting up a business in a new territory

Switzerland: what are the opportunities for your business?

Director’s guide to doing business in New York

Doing business in Lithuania

Doing business in Guangzhou, China

Want to subscribe to Director magazine or download our iPad and Android editions?

Click here for details

About author

Director magazine

Director magazine

Director is the magazine for business leaders. Free to IoD members and available to purchase through subscription, each edition is full of insightful interviews with entrepreneurs and company directors.

No comments

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.


Competition: The Grand, York

Win! A luxury stay in York

The lucky winner and their guest will experience the opulence and charm of this beautifully restored hotel with a two-night stay, including breakfast. The prize ...