Thinking of Expanding Globally? Here’s Five Questions PH Startups Need To Ask Before Going International | CloudCFO PH
Thinking of Expanding Globally? Here’s Five Questions PH Startups Need To Ask Before Going International

Thinking of Expanding Globally? Here’s Five Questions PH Startups Need To Ask Before Going International

Posted on April 4, 2024
3 min mins read

In the dynamic world of startups, the allure of expanding globally presents both thrilling opportunities and formidable challenges. For foreign owners of startups eyeing expansion, particularly in vibrant markets like the Philippines, the prospect of international growth holds immense promise. However, navigating the complexities of venturing into new territories requires careful consideration and strategic planning.

In this article, we aim to be your trusted companion on the journey towards successful international expansion. Whether you’re contemplating entering the Philippine market or expanding your operations to other global destinations, we understand the pivotal questions and uncertainties that accompany such endeavors. 

Join us as we explore five fundamental questions that startups must ask before starting on their global expansion journey. From understanding market dynamics to navigating cultural nuances and regulatory landscapes, each question serves as a cornerstone in laying a solid foundation for international success.


Is the Philippine startup ecosystem supportive of global expansion for startups?

The Philippine startup ecosystem has witnessed significant growth and development over the past two decades, evolving into a dynamic and vibrant landscape that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship. According to a report by the Asia Development Bank in May 2023 entitled “The Philippines’ Ecosystem for Technology Startups,” the groundwork for supporting startups was laid in the early 2000s when the private sector began offering mentorship programs and organizing incubator initiatives. 

Subsequent governmental efforts, particularly since 2010, have further bolstered support for startups through enabling policies such as the Roadmap for Digital Startups in 2015 and landmark legislation like the Innovative Startup Act (ISA) and the Philippine Innovation Act (PIA) in 2019.

What is the current state of the Philippine startup ecosystem?

Today, the Philippine startup ecosystem boasts approximately 700 active startups, a significant increase from just 100 in 2015, with key players primarily engaged in sectors like fintech, media and entertainment, and e-commerce. Moreover, emerging segments such as agritech, edtech, cleantech, and healthtech are gaining traction, not only making economic contributions but also fostering human and sustainable development. 

These sectors are pivotal in driving innovation and addressing pressing societal challenges, aligning with the government’s vision to promote innovation as a key strategy for national recovery, growth acceleration, and attainment of high-income status by 2040.

Is the government supportive of startups in the Philippines?

Yes, the Philippine government’s initiatives play a crucial role in nurturing the startup ecosystem, with programs and policies aimed at promoting innovation, providing financial support, and fostering talent development. The Philippine Innovation Act established the National Innovation Council and the Innovation Fund, while the Innovative Startup Act introduced programs and incentives to support startup development, managed by various government departments. 

Additionally, efforts to enhance digital infrastructure and connectivity are underway to facilitate the transition to online transactions and improve access to government services, further supporting the growth of tech startups.

What questions should you ask if you want to expand your startup globally?

Expanding your startup globally is a thrilling endeavor, but it requires meticulous planning and strategic foresight to ensure success. As you contemplate taking your business to new international markets, there are five fundamental questions you must address to optimize your chances of success. Let’s delve into each question:

Have you identified the key markets to prioritize for expansion?

Timing is critical in international expansion. To maximize your chances of success, start by pinpointing the main markets you intend to target. While it may be tempting to cast a wide net and aim for global reach, maintaining a clear focus is essential. Begin by prioritizing no more than ten countries or regions and conduct thorough research on each. 

Assess the competitive landscape, identify potential clients, and consider the broader context of governance, language, and culture. Evaluate existing contacts or traction in these markets and carefully examine the logistics of operating there, including currency considerations and risk mitigation strategies.

Can you create a sales process that is scalable and replicable?

Scaling your product may be relatively straightforward, but building a scalable sales process presents its own set of challenges. In the early stages, the CEO often handles most sales responsibilities. However, for international expansion, a structured and scalable sales process is indispensable. Develop a clear pipeline management strategy, from initial contact to closing deals. 

As your business grows, recruit a diverse sales team equipped to handle various aspects of the sales process. Consider how different markets may impact your sales approach, including negotiation tactics, pitching techniques, and understanding buyer personas.

Do you understand the cultural landscape in your target markets?

Expanding internationally goes beyond logistical considerations; it requires a deep understanding of cultural nuances. Successful startups take the time to comprehend the full context of operating in a new country, including traditions, customs, and socio-political dynamics. 

Ensure your team includes individuals with insider knowledge of the target market or consider hiring local talent to provide cultural insights. Adapting to international business etiquette, time zones, and language preferences is crucial for building rapport and trust with stakeholders in new markets.

Have you built a team suitable for international expansion?

As your business expands into new territories, assembling the right team becomes paramount. Hiring practices vary significantly across countries, so it’s essential to understand regulatory environments, recruitment norms, and cultural preferences. 

Cultivate a diverse team equipped to navigate the complexities of international markets. While having a sales-minded co-founder is advantageous, prioritize hiring individuals with sales acumen and cultural fluency. Consider establishing a strong support network to facilitate recruitment, provide mentorship, and foster a collaborative work environment.

Are you prepared with the necessary support for entering new markets?

Transitioning into new markets requires not only logistical readiness but also financial preparedness. Securing adequate support, whether through investment or strategic partnerships, is essential for a smooth expansion process. Refine your sales and marketing strategies, financial models, and pitch decks to align with international expansion goals. 

Seek guidance from experienced advisors or consultancies, such as CloudCFO, to navigate regulatory complexities, manage finances, and access funding opportunities. With the right support network in place, you can confidently navigate the challenges of international expansion and unlock new growth opportunities for your startup.

At CloudCFO, we understand the unique challenges faced by startups venturing into new territories. With our specialized expertise and unwavering commitment to supporting entrepreneurs, we stand ready to provide tailored solutions and invaluable support to help startups thrive in international markets.

Ready to embark on your journey of international expansion with confidence? Discover how CloudCFO can help streamline your expansion process, navigate regulatory complexities, and unlock growth opportunities in new markets. Inquire about our comprehensive range of services today and take the first step towards global success. Contact us now to schedule a consultation with our team of experts.

DISCLAIMER: This article is strictly for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article constitutes or intends to constitute financial, accounting, regulatory or legal advice and must not be used as a substitute for professional advice. It is still necessary to consult your relevant professional adviser regarding any specific matter referenced above.

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If you want to know more about our tailored services and processes, drop us a line to discuss how we can help you to grow your business. We will respond to you within 24 hours.