Re-Nationalisation: when the decision to move your company to a new country becomes serious

For many businesses internationalisation is seen as an opportunity to access new markets – additional new markets. There are however situations where your current market is changing to become less viable and less profitable. This can lead to exploring the option of moving your company and operations, in its entirety, to a new market. This is not a decision to take lightly, but nor is it one to ignore.

In many situations this option will be unfeasible or undesirable, this could be because of suppliers, staff, business model or simply because the home market is stable or better. However, there is also a growing number of situations where it is becoming more viable and more reasonable a solution – but is not explored as freely or openly as perhaps it might be. These could be small organisations with a fixed transferable offer, often who work within tourism and therefore whose customers exist in a relatively replicable composition across international borders. Alternatively, organisations may identify a better market than their own in a close country – geographically or culturally. Perhaps with fewer competitors, more customers or a greater opportunity for innovation and differentiation to strengthen a competitive advantage. This is still a significant decision, and needs a strong

The drivers to re-nationalise can come from many directions; changes in your home country either of governance, tax, other legislation; fantastic business opportunity found through research, partners or joint venture; disruption in home market; political instability, are just a few. The impact on a country or community of companies either leaving in large numbers, or arriving can be very significant – positively or negatively – and is worth consideration when policies are created and strategies defined.

Isn’t Internationalisation a better option if you find a strong external market to enter? Can’t you just establish a second base and expand your operations? Every situation is different, along with the circumstances of the decision makers, and both options have their advantages, barriers and opportunities. As with internationalisation, the research and planning process is critical to making the right decision, having the right strategy and deploying in an effective and successful way.

There are many very good opportunities within the EU for re-nationalisation, a supportive network, and a wide variety of communities encouraging business to join them. Re-nationalisation is not often a first choice but is definitely an option worth considering.

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