Need for a support system

When a company makes an overseas expansion, it can rarely complete it on its own, and each phase requires information provision, financing, and support from external organizations. Identifying the necessary support and knowing where to get the necessary support are also important preparations for overseas expansion.

If we can receive substantial support, we will be able to conduct business in unknown countries more safely and comfortably. Also, by relying on outside support for areas where your company is weak or lacking, you will be able to concentrate on areas where you are strong, making it easier for you to fully demonstrate your strengths.

When receiving support or financing, it is necessary to select appropriate contents and conditions according to the stage. When you are planning to expand overseas, and when you have already expanded overseas through direct investment or import, the support you can use is different.

If you miss the timing, you may not be able to use the system. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on the information on the support systems of each organization at all times so as not to miss the opportunity.

Provision of information on legal systems and business practices

The first thing you should be careful about when you expand your business overseas is the legal system and business customs of the place where you do business. When we conduct business overseas, we will conduct our business in accordance with the legal system of the country where we have entered.

Also, in order to succeed in business, it is important to adapt to local business customs. Even if your business in Japan is successful, it doesn’t mean that you will be successful in any country or area overseas.

For this reason, it is necessary to understand the business practices of the countries we are considering and to plan our development in accordance with them. If your products and services don’t fit in with local business practices, you may even need to rethink your plans.

For this reason, at the initial stage of preparation, it is very important to provide support that provides information on legal systems and local business practices as basic knowledge of the country or region.

You can attend seminars, or you can collect reports and news about foreign information by yourself. In addition, it is also effective to be affiliated with an organization that supports overseas expansion, and to be introduced to consultants and mentors in order to obtain more useful information.

Some organizations offer free briefing services that provide live information from overseas.

Market research and marketing support

Market research and marketing support are also important for companies looking to expand overseas. Market research needs to continue for a long time, from the initial planning stage to after the company has expanded overseas.

It takes a lot of time and human resources to keep an eye on a constantly changing market and the environment surrounding it that can have an impact. For this reason, it is often more efficient to reduce the time and labor required to prepare for overseas expansion by seeking support from outside parties who already have information and research know-how.

For market research and marketing support, platforms and consultants specializing in support of overseas expansion are used, and seminars and various services conducted by independent administrative agencies and ministries are also available. When more in-depth research is needed, we may ask consultants and research companies to conduct in-store surveys, on-site interviews, and interviews with experts who have detailed knowledge of where we are expanding.

In the case of underfunded companies or sole proprietors, it is important to keep costs low during the preparation phase. We need to change the services we use as we progress.

development of sales channels

If you think of overseas as a market, you have to think about developing a market after planning and collecting information for overseas expansion. The real first step in doing business overseas is to find a path to entry.

We cannot expand overseas unless we have a place to provide products and services, such as finding local customers, forming alliances, and establishing sales channels.

Once the market research indicates that you have an opportunity to enter the market, you can move on to establishing specific sales practices. While we are successful in Japan, we will start from scratch overseas and have no existing customers. Therefore, we need to create new sales channels.

However, you need to know the specific approach such as how to find and advance the market. In order to build a sales channel, you should first look for a local sales agent or partner.

Become a local business partner who is close to local users and knows their needs. This is easier to achieve by using matching services provided by organizations and companies.

It is also effective to exhibit at exhibitions, trade shows and business meetings. When participating in overseas exhibitions, support menus are provided by the national government (JETRO etc.) or the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion Public Corporation, etc.). Please make use of such support menu.

Subsidies and loan programs for companies expanding overseas

There are various organizations and organizations that provide subsidies and financing for overseas expansion. Some types of loans require repayment, some do not require repayment, and the amount of assistance and the conditions under which they can be used vary, so it is necessary to find and use a support system suitable for your company.

Public support includes the Industrial Enhancement Loan “Support for overseas development” provided by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Industrial Labor Bureau, the “Overseas expansion and business restructuring funds” provided by the Japan Finance Corporation and the Okinawa Development Finance Corporation, and the “Fund investment business” provided by the Japan Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation. The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency also provides subsidies such as “Cost of joint and cooperative development of sales channels” and “Subsidy for Small Business Continuity”.

Shoko Chukin Bank and JBIC have also established loan programs for companies wishing to expand overseas.

There are also services that provide debt guarantees to support financing rather than providing loans or subsidies directly. By using these services, it will be easier to procure business funds from overseas financial institutions and facilitate overseas business development.

Since some of these support services are not only open at any time, but also open to the public at certain times, it is necessary to check information in advance so as not to miss opportunities.


As described above, there are many systems in place to support the understanding of local legal systems and business practices and the expansion of sales channels through market research and marketing. It is wise to use these resources to efficiently expand overseas.