Specifically, the study finds that one-in-10 midsized business owners in the U.S. say they have global expansion plans over the next two years. However, fully three-quarters of respondents feel they don’t have the required tools to manage a global workforce. The results of the study indicate more midsized companies would expand globally if they were confident enough that they were prepared.
In addition to workforce hurdles, many firms also cited concerns about having the resources to contend with regulatory issues across multiple countries.
“Since the volume of government regulation in the United States is already a top concern of midsized business owners, it comes as no surprise that navigating laws across multiple countries would strike many business owners [of this size] as overwhelming,” Anish Rajparia, president of ADP’s Major Account Services said in the report. “Regulations around the handling and sharing of employee data across countries can be particularly complex,” he said, “with potential fines and penalties for non-compliance. In China alone, where there are 32 provinces and 288 cities, each with their own payroll recording requirements.”
This hesitation about moving forward with growth plans is likely already resulting in lost opportunities. The Conference Board says that average overall global real GDP growth is predicted to be just 3.3% for 2015. This is an improvement over the last two years, although slight.
By contrast, The Conference Board predicts the growth rate of China to be 5.5% on average from 2015-2019. The Asia-Pacific region fares better, as it remains the leader for global growth. Moreover, Southeast Asia will continue to strengthen its position to become a global production hub.
As the borderless world is here to stay, it’s in midsized firms’ best interests to develop the necessary tools to capitalize on the world’s next growth opportunities.