Building a Local Team for Global Success

When venturing into new markets, the pivotal decision of forming a local team comes to the forefront. In this installment of our blog series, “Guide to International Expansion,” we look at Factor 7: Build a Strong Local Team. At 1IB, we emphasise that the composition of the team is a crucial factor that greatly affects market development and sales performance, regardless of whether a subsidiary is being established in the US or another foreign country.

Choosing the Right Country Manager

The question of whether to hire an internal employee or an external hire from the target region arises because the role of the country manager is crucial to this endeavour. Both options have benefits and drawbacks, according to 1IB. Internal staff members may not be familiar with the new market, but they do bring knowledge of the company’s culture and procedures. On the other hand, an external hire may need internal training but brings a local network and market knowledge.

1IB’s recommendations:

  • Internal Hire: Make sure to have a deep understanding of the local language and possess intercultural competencies.
  • External Hire: Offer comprehensive onboarding that covers company culture, processes, and key contacts.

Structuring the Future Team

In the long run, a one-person show cannot succeed. 1IB asserts that it is essential to organize the team in line with the previously created organizational chart based on prior experience. It is brought up how many employees are from the area. Hiring local talent is essential for gaining valuable business contacts and market insights, even though there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

Insights from Palenque Tours, Colombia:

  • Benefits of Local Talent: Local employees enhance negotiation capabilities and cultural know-how.
  • Supporting the Workforce: To retain local talent, implement a career plan, conduct performance evaluations, and establish a bonus policy.

Ensuring Role Clarity and Expectation Management

The diverse roles that team members play necessitate clear and efficient communication. 1IB emphasizes that managing expectations and defining roles are essential for both performance and job satisfaction. Uncertain job descriptions often impact job openings, so it’s important to have a job interview to clarify expectations and talk about real-world role dynamics.


Strategies for Reducing Turnover:

  • Role Clarity: Clearly define multiple roles and responsibilities during job interviews.
  • Mutual Expectations: Discuss expectations, motivations, and practical aspects of roles.
  • Appreciation and Development: Offer appreciation, identification with the company, and development opportunities to reduce turnover.

Impact of Turnover on Business Growth

High turnover may hinder growth, especially when the local team acts as brand ambassadors thousands of kilometres away from the headquarters. It is critical to foster a work environment that values and supports employees in order to reduce turnover risks.

Companies that prioritize role clarity, effective communication, and a supportive work environment can cultivate a strong local team while reducing turnover and ensuring success in foreign markets. We at 1IB believe that investing in the local team’s development and happiness pays dividends because they represent the company on a daily basis, contributing to long-term global expansion.


1IB’s Factor 7: Building a Local Team is an important component of international expansion. Strategic onboarding is critical whether hiring internal or external candidates for key roles. As seen in insights from Palenque Tours, Colombia, structuring the team based on local insights improves negotiation capabilities and cultural understanding.

1IB emphasizes the importance of role clarity and effective communication, providing strategies such as clear job descriptions and discussing expectations during interviews to reduce turnover risks. The long-term success of global ventures is dependent on creating a supportive work environment that values and develops local talent. Prioritizing the happiness and development of the local team ultimately pays off, ensuring long-term success as they represent the company in foreign markets. At 1IB, we believe that this approach is essential for long-term success in international business.

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