Nor can you use one universal yardstick for all global offices. An executive from a US company overseas saw that the company's patience and approach would have to be customized to every region. Markets with nascent cloud deployment translate to fewer competitors but more time spent educating customers and encouraging the tech's adoption. Others, such as Japan, had higher costs for getting off the ground but held better long-term potential.
One company stated that it had gone into some markets where it saw that the payback period was too long and left. The company plans to return when the environment has changed. When they do, it will likely be with the same all-in mentality that is a must for every entrepreneur.
You may start with one person, but in a practically short time, you want to get a small office and start adding people. To make a good impression on clients and get a chunk of the local market, you can't have one employee working out of the home office.
Choosing your team -- and new markets -- wisely
Most US overseas companies have one crucial piece of advice for the early days of expansion: "Don't hire fighter pilots. Those global hires have to line up with your culture early on, or you'll have a remote rogue situation. To seed synchronicity between the offices, you can host monthly all-hands video meeting and once a year fly all employees to the home office’s city for a weeklong team-building retreat.
Remember when flying your employees in for your once a year meeting that you are responsible for the expenses.
The costs for this can be staggering. But then you think, if you're taking them away from their positions for a week, that's 2% of their total time you just ate, plus the 2% you're spending in cost to travel. Are they going to be 4% better the rest of the year since coming together and getting on the same page?