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7 Considerations and 5 Risks for start-ups to consider when they "Go Global"

Man holding a globe looking to the sunrise
Opportunity V Risk. Start Ups going global are more common than ever before.

With an unprecedented expectation for Start-Ups to demonstrate growth, the lure of global markets is strong. However, as much as the growth opportunity is real, there are many risks if not executed properly. Here are some of the 7 considerations for start-ups, including 5 risks and mitigations to help when formulating their global growth plans.

Considerations to think about are:

  1. Understand the target market: Research the target market to understand cultural, economic, and legal differences.

  2. Develop a localization strategy: Adapt products and services to the local market, considering language, currency, and other cultural factors.

  3. Build a local team: Hire local employees with knowledge of the market and culture to help with sales, marketing, and customer service.

  4. Establish partnerships: Look for local partners, such as suppliers or distributors, to help with logistics and distribution.

  5. Obtain legal and regulatory compliance: Understand and comply with local laws and regulations, including taxes, labour laws, and intellectual property rights.

  6. Prepare a communication strategy: Develop a communication strategy that considers language, cultural differences, and local communication channels.

  7. Have a solid financial plan: Consider the costs associated with expanding globally, such as setting up operations in a new country, and have a plan in place to secure funding.


  1. Legal and regulatory compliance: Failure to comply with local laws and regulations can result in fines and legal action.

  2. Currency fluctuations: Changes in currency exchange rates can affect the cost of goods and services and make budgeting and forecasting difficult.

  3. Cultural differences: Understand and adapt to local cultural norms to avoid misunderstandings and alienating potential customers.

  4. Political instability: Unforeseen political events can disrupt operations and lead to financial losses.

  5. Intellectual property: Failure to protect intellectual property can result in losing competitive advantage and legal action.

Mitigation strategies:

  1. Legal and regulatory compliance: Hire local lawyers and consultants to help navigate local laws and regulations.

  2. Currency fluctuations: Use hedging strategies, such as forward contracts, to manage currency risk.

  3. Cultural differences: Conduct employee training and invest in local market research.

  4. Political instability: Continuously monitor political developments in target markets and have a plan in place to respond to unexpected events.

  5. Intellectual property: Obtain patents, trademarks, and copyrights in target markets and take legal action to protect intellectual property if necessary.

Final Thoughts

A world of opportunity has never been more accessible for start-ups and founders. However, do your homework, be prepared, execute with eyes wide open and ensure your risks are well mitigated.


About the Author

Adam Ryan Start-Up Expert

Adam Ryan is a Professor of Practice (Adjunct Professor) at Monash University and is a principal at Watkins Bay. Adam has over twenty years of start-up experience in Australia and the USA. An expert in Company Structuring for Innovation, Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Capital for early and growth-stage businesses.


Contact Details

Australia +61 (0) 418 325 387

USA + 1 (858) 252-0954


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Join thousands of people receving regular insights into ideas that help people and businesses grow.

Adam Ryan Head Shot small.png

Written By

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