How to choose which country to expand to?

How to choose which country to expand to? Bridgehead

In this piece, our CEO and Founder, Paul McIntosh, offers valuable guidance on selecting the optimal market for startups and scaleups. After successfully establishing demand for your product or service in your domestic market, the next crucial step is expanding into new markets and reaching a broader customer base. International expansion is an appealing prospect for many entrepreneurs.

However, faced with a staggering 195 countries, how can you determine the right market for your business? Also, how can you ensure that your decision is the correct one?

Drawing on our extensive experience of assisting businesses in expanding into new markets for over two decades, we employ a comprehensive approach.

When a client approaches us with uncertainty about which market to enter, our initial course of action is to conduct a tailored Market Entry Audit. This audit is catered specifically for each business, incorporating vital and comparative data, as well as providing actionable insights. It examines macro factors, such as the impact of political and economic conditions on the company, conducts buyer research and profiling, and evaluates the key competitors in the target market.

Here are Paul’s dos and don’ts when bringing your product or service into a new market.


  • Do undertake research – into both legalities and ‘softer’ factors such as cultural customs, via both primary and secondary channels;
  • Do work with a team of commercial experts – expertise and guidance is invaluable to your launch;
  • Do consider adapting – just a few small tweaks might make all the difference in a new market;
  • Do test or model your introduction – directly talk to your target customers to gather real insight and feedback;
  • Do time your launch just right – ensure adequate resources for that critical first 90 days in a new market.


  • Don’t make assumptions – even two small, neighbouring European countries can have very different laws and cultural practices;
  • Don’t ignore your competitors – research them in advance to know there is a market for your offering;
  • Don’t do an expansion on the cheap – rushing market introduction or failing to plan alongside people who know the country will rarely, if ever, produce the desired result.

Are you ready to embark on an exciting journey into a new market? Look no further, because we’ve got the expertise and resources to help you make it happen! Contact us and together, we’ll create a winning strategy that propels your business to new heights.