The recent surge in economic activity brought on by an end to pandemic restrictions has been dampened somewhat by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, rising energy prices and rampant inflation. Despite these challenges, growing technology companies across Europe should not put the brakes on their ambitions to expand internationally.
In 2021, the world bounced back from the turbulence of the pandemic’s early stages. The UK economy, for example, grew at its fastest pace on record over the year. Things have slowed down considerably since then, but for the tech sector, we believe that there is still plenty of cause for optimism.
We might not be quite as dependent on tech as we became in 2020, but many ways in which we embraced it – both at work and in our personal lives – have become permanent habits. Many of these behaviours won’t be significantly diminished by the energy or inflation crises, so there is every opportunity for further international growth if successful tech companies are willing to be bold and push on with their expansion plans.
Fortune will favour the brave tech companies
Building a presence abroad offers numerous benefits, even during times of economic difficulty.
If you have experienced a few years of success as a tech business, the chances are you will have customers operating outside your country of origin. This is certainly the case in regions such as central and eastern Europe, where technology companies have excelled by expanding abroad and forming relationships with clients in countries such as the UK or the US.
Opening new offices abroad can be hugely beneficial in helping companies get closer to their international customers. Having staff on the ground in the US or Latin America, for example, means US customers can deal with someone operating in the same or similar time zone to them, with the relatively short geographic distance also allowing for face-to-face meetings whenever they are needed.
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As far as finding the right talent abroad is concerned, this need not be a major worry if organisations are prepared to do their research.
When choosing where to open an international base, businesses need to be prepared to put in the work to find a location that offers a consistent supply of technical talent. This means not just identifying the right country to expand into but discovering the right regions within that country to maximise the chances of success. It is a granular approach but one that is always worth it in the long run.
There are plenty of economic challenges ahead for all of us, but as it did early in the pandemic, technology will help guide us through. With that in mind, tech leaders shouldn’t be afraid to be brave, driven and determined to make the most of the opportunities available to them.