When Vuealta started thinking about global expansion the amount of information out there was overwhelming. The company needed to understand the economic, cultural, governmental and market conditions of a region. Local languages and cultural differences of doing business were important. There were also country-specific policies on consumer data protection and rules around data storage and cybersecurity – it was almost impossible to know where to start.
Instead of rushing into a decision, Vuealta took time planning its expansion. The team stayed open to different locations and worked towards getting the best possible local knowledge to build a market presence in the region.
The business started by hiring local talent, people who could provide Vuealta with information about opening an office in the new region. The company also invested in good legal and financial advisors, those with the knowledge to set up local entities. For CEO Ian Stone, this was a core part of their expansion plans: there were so many local nuances that they “simply didn’t have the time” to learn on their own.
To take advantage of existing local connections, Vuealta built up a relationship with a business which shared its values, ethos and approach to service. The relationship proved so successful that Vuealta acquired the company in 2018 – though Stone acknowledges that finding such a good fit is rare.
Stone believes big strategic moves or decisions in business rarely yield immediate results, but the company has been rapidly expanding. Vuealta achieved 163 per cent year-on-year growth to turn over £2.7m in its last financial year. Stone plans to continue investing in new regions to support this growth.
“When you’re expanding, communication is key,” Stone said. “Be honest with your team and talk to them regularly. And have your cultural wits about you, because some words don’t translate well in other countries!”