Striking a balance
Domestic growth is returning but focus remains on export, says Regus report
As the Irish economy continues to recover, the latest research commissioned by workspace provider Regus reveals that one in three Irish firms (31%) are growing primarily due to overseas expansion, while just a quarter attribute their growth to domestic expansion.
The poll, which canvassed the opinions of business owners and senior executives, also reveals that 31% of Irish firms are experiencing balanced growth across domestic and foreign markets
13% of firms report that they are not experiencing growth at all.
Karen Lawlor, Country Manager for Ireland at Regus commented: “All the indicators are that growth is slowly getting back on track, although it is important not to overlook that more than one in ten firms said their company hadn’t returned to growth.
“What is particularly encouraging is that a third of firms are performing well in foreign markets and opportunities to expand abroad look set to grow further still with government’s recent announcement of its €75 million fund to give greater support to exporters. This is an extremely positive development as a healthy export market is vital for long-term economic sustainability at a national and individual company level.”
Companies were also asked in the poll about the biggest barriers to overseas expansion. The top barrier identified by three quarters of respondents was finding the right staff. A lack of local knowledge and connections was pinpointed by over half respondents (53%) as an impediment to international expansion, followed by lack of access to flexible work space (48%).
Other difficulties highlighted were:
- A lack of accurate market information (41%)
- Setting up IT and services (36%)
- Obtaining high quality translation services (36%)
- Setting up a logistics and distribution network (30%)
Karen Lawlor adds: “Many firms are put off overseas expansion by the perceived risks, time and money involved but, although it can be a daunting prospect, you only have to look at the success stories to see that it can pay dividends.
“Every day at Regus we see companies – including thousands of SMEs - harnessing our international network of business centres to test the waters in overseas markets without over committing financially, keeping operations as lean and scalable as possible."
Regus is the global workplace provider.
Its network of more than 2000 business centres in 102 countries provides convenient, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for people to work, whether for a few minutes or a few years. Companies like Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline choose Regus so that they can work flexibly and make their businesses more successful.
The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is opening wherever its 1.5million members want support - city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations, motorway service stations and even community centres.
Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit: