The Great Expansion Dilemma: Local vs. Remote Teams

Matt Hallmann
4 min readMar 20, 2023

Are you brave enough to scale your company internationally?

As your company grows and looks to expand into new markets, one question inevitably pops up: Should you hire local employees in the target market or rely on remote teams from your home country? It’s a dilemma many businesses face, and the choice you make can have a significant impact on the success of your international expansion.

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each approach and discuss why choosing the “safer” option might be the riskier move in the long run.

The Comfort of Homegrown Teams

For lots of companies, the idea of using remote teams from their home country feels the most comfortable and seems like the logical choice. After all, these employees already understand the company culture, values, and products. They’re familiar with the language and can easily communicate with the main office.

However, there’s a hidden downside to this approach. By relying solely on remote teams from your home country, you risk invalidating the market and setting yourself up for failure. Let’s delve into why this happens.

  • Cultural Blind Spots: While your remote team may speak the language of your target market, they often lack the cultural nuances and understanding needed to truly connect with local customers. This can lead to marketing missteps, poor customer service, and ultimately a lack of trust in your brand.
  • Time Zone Challenges: Coordinating work across multiple time zones can lead to delays and miscommunication, impacting overall productivity and efficiency.
  • Regulatory Hurdles: Navigating local regulations and business practices can be difficult for remote teams that lack firsthand knowledge of the market. The Case for Local Teams

Hiring local employees in your target market may seem more daring and expensive, but it comes with significant advantages that can make it the better decision for your company.

  • Cultural Intelligence: Local employees have a deep understanding of their country’s culture and norms, enabling them to create authentic connections with customers and navigate business relationships more…