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Five Questions to Ask Before Expanding Your Business in Malaysia

May 11, 2015 | Sharon Cheong

As a business owner, you may be thinking about taking that next step and growing your business. Many US owned businesses have set up very successful offices in Malaysia. Though it can be more expensive to initially set up the office, it will ultimately give you stronger returns on your investment. Businesses in Malaysia generally offer better profit margins because some costs are lower, such as leasing commercial space and hiring employees. The five questions below can help you decide whether you're ready for an offshore office. 

  1. Is your business ready for expansion? Start by analyzing the current income for the past few years. If you can see a steady growth pattern, then you might be ready. Make sure you have a solid customer base and orders that you can count on. Seasonal income doesn't count.
  2. Do you have the money for an expansion? Remember that moving overseas means you'll have to purchase office furniture, equipment, tools, machines, computers and many other items to get the office set up. Once you have an office set up, then you'll start hiring employees. Try to estimate the cost of this expansion as closely as possible and be prepared with the cash reserves to go forward.
  3. Do you have key people who can manage the Malaysian office? You'll need go-getters with lots of training who can figure out most problems on their own. It's important to send your best and brightest to manage this office. They must be trustworthy individuals who can think on their feet. Otherwise, you may find yourself flying back and forth to Malaysia every month.
  4. Do you have a specific reason for wanting to set up an office in Malaysia? Some businesses just feel it's time for an offshore headquarters, while others believe that this is the true road to success. You might be launching a new product or service and Malaysia would make a great hub for overseas investors.
  5. Do you have an exit strategy? What if your great idea doesn't work and the Malaysian office is a failure? You should at least consider the possibility and plan for it. Do this by purchasing used equipment, computers and furniture that is economical. Remember, you can buy better stuff down the road once the business starts paying for itself. Be sure that, if it does fail, it will not affect your core business operations. 

Tips for Success 

Someone who lives and operates a business in Malaysia can help you avoid common pitfalls. One thing that many successful business owners do is take advantage of professional Malaysian consultants. A consultant can help you decide exactly what things may cost, help you figure out the best location for your business and answer many questions. It's like having a friend in Malaysia who knows the ropes. With professional help you can feel much better about moving forward, or you may decide that this is not the right time for building an offshore office. 

A Prestigious Downtown Address 

A great way to get a luxurious office in downtown Malaysia is to lease serviced office space from Servcorp Serviced Offices. These come in all sizes to meet your individual needs plus they're fully furnished with upscale furnishings. Trained people are on stand-by to assist you as needed and you'll have a dedicated receptionist, IT, HR and other technology and communications available to you. Please call to learn more.