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4 June 2024

Pioneering Success Through Strategic Acquisitions and Global Expansion

GUEST COLUMN:

Andrew Collis
CFO, 
Moneypenny 

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There is more scope than ever to become a global business, but there are challenges and considerations along the way.

Moneypenny – which answers calls, live chat and digital comms for thousands of businesses across the UK and the US – has been further expanding its operations in the United States as part of its rapid growth strategy.

The initial launch was a natural step after receiving a consistent high level of enquiries from US businesses, while already serving a number of UK businesses with US offices.

We initially chose an organic route to market and applied the successful UK growth strategy to the US, with quick customer acquisition through marketing, while relying on the financial strength of the UK business to fuel growth.

We soon saw an opportunity to supplement the organic growth with acquisitive growth and acquired VoiceNation and Ninja Number in 2020.  2020 also saw us open our Atlanta office, which became our US HQ. Atlanta was identified as a popular area for our existing, and potential clients across the legal, finance, real estate, accounting, franchise and healthcare sectors. Other benefits were ease of access to the UK, with Atlanta being a key international flight hub. It was also an area with an excellent talent pool and some amazing opportunities in the city itself.

This drove a step-change in scale and brought some very talented people into the business who had great knowledge of the US market.  This gave us new capabilities and helped to provide a clear roadmap for North American growth.

Creating a successful global growth and expansion strategy takes time, focus, and buy-in. The advantage is that it lays the foundation for a strong future. The first step is to keep your customer top of mind, and define clear organisational goals, and identify the purpose and direction of global growth. Market research is crucial to identify opportunities and obstacles, and then evaluate the best strategy for your business – be it organically or via acquisition.

Once we’d established our Atlanta base, we had the foundation to extend the strategy and look at further acquisitions. This saw us acquire two more businesses as part of our expansion strategy: Alphapage in Denver, and very recently Sunshine Communications in Miami.

Adapting your company’s values and ethos to suit the new market, while retaining what made the company successful in your founding country, is a fine balance. It’s also crucial to build the right leadership team to maintain company values and culture when expanding overseas. A local leadership team is vital, as is having your Group UK leadership team spend time in the new market to deliver and sustain your company messages. I also advise hiring the very best people you can; it will be worth it in the long run.

Regular communication with your people and spending time to align your culture will help maintain focus on the overall company goals. Moneypenny tries to weave integration and culture through everything it does including rotations across both sides of the Atlantic for some employees. This also brings US talent back to the UK, bringing the two cultures together and focusing everyone on the same initiatives.

Above all, scaling the organisation will allow successful global expansion. This requires flexibility, agility, versatility, and resilience. It also relies on a clear purpose, strategy, structure, and team, with a strong focus on the building blocks of your organisation



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