Global Leader In Intravenous Vitamin Therapy REVIV: On Scaling International Markets

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As the global leader in Intravenous (IV) vitamin therapy and vitamin booster injections, in just four years REVIV has grown from a single clinic on Miami Beach to a five-continent business delivering over 70,000 IV treatments globally.

Once reserved for celebrities and the wealthy, thanks to REVIV, the benefits of IV therapy are now available to the mass market, starting at £149 per drip. The treatment, which delivers nutrients directly into the bloodstream, to boost the immune system and fight fatigue, is one of the fastest growing wellness trends in the UK.

Offering a range of signature infusions and boosters primarily targeted at the preventative health and wellness market, REVIV, which is available in the US, Middle East, and Europe, still operates with a relatively small team of senior leaders, along with functional support for IT and Marketing in the US.

Following its accelerated growth outside of the US, Julia Couzens has joined the business, to act as MD for REVIV UK.

Couzens, whose role will encompass the build out of the franchising infrastructure here in the UK, will also support on key global initiatives designed to enable the pioneering company’s fast-paced growth to continue.

With a projected 2017 turnover of £4.8M, REVIV is going from strength to strength, but growing at such a rapid speed across multiple markets is not without its challenges.

Having already scaled the business into multiple international markets, here Couzens shares her five tips for successfully navigating new markets and expanding to new geographies…..

Invest in political and economic awareness

It’s absolutely critical that, for each market you are looking to enter, you are fully appraised of both the political and economic status of that market.

There are many countries with volatile economies, where corruption still exists at a political level, so a lack of awareness surrounding these types of issues could have a significant impact on your future success.

Thankfully, with the advent of the internet there are multiple data sources that can aid your review.

Some information may sound scary, but don’t let that deter you. Remain educated, so if you do decide to enter a potentially volatile but lucrative market it’s a calculated risk and not simply risky.

Choose the right partners

Whilst you may be planning to own the business you wish to establish in a new market (rather than set up a joint venture or sell a franchise), it’s still essential to have support on the ground with a strong network and local knowledge.  

Never take anyone at face value, always take references and, wherever possible, never opt to work with someone with whom you have no connection with at all.

Before you progress with a new partner, take time to build a relationship both professionally and socially and to ensure their values and business ethics are aligned with your own. And, ensure that they are fluent in both the local language and the language with which you transact your existing business.

Put simply, don’t make hasty decisions due to time pressures. Time invested at the start will be paid back many times over, REVIV’s success in new markets is in many cases a consequence of investing time to build strong and lasting relationships.  

Understand local regulations

Never assume that regulation in the market you are looking to enter is the same as in your home market.

You absolutely must complete due diligence for each market, and where possible do this yourself. Take time to engage with local authorities, complete detailed research and fully understand each requirement.

Ensure you have completed a full risk assessment prior to making a final decision to proceed – many companies fail to do this, which ultimately leads to their failure in a potentially lucrative new market.

Be prepared to tailor your proposition

Just because you have a successful business formula in one country doesn’t mean the same formula will work well in other countries.Never underestimate the impact that local cultural nuances can have on the success of your business.

REVIV has come across this many times. In Hong Kong it was essential from a Feng Shui perspective to have a water feature in the clinic and woe betide us if we had any ‘unlucky’ numbers in our prices, while in South Africa it was imperative to exchange our signature black and white couches for red leather versions, as the African are a colourful nation and our standard colour palette would have been off-putting.  

Thankfully we had strong local partners in both these locations to give us the advice we needed.

Make financial provisions for the unexpected

Whilst this may seem like common sense, it’s really important when creating a budget for global growth, to provision for items that you simply do not know about.

Some of the common areas that business tend to overlook are as follows;

Fluctuation in FX rates –  these can never be predicted, so take action to mitigate risk. Always invoice in your home country or, where this is not possible, insure against the risk.

Business set up – whilst in the UK registering a business is relatively inexpensive, this is certainly not the case everywhere, and in some countries the costs can be significant.

Regulatory Cost – once you understand any local regulations you may find there are changes associated with your business complying with them.

Cost of Living – when opening in a new location, the cost of living could vary significantly to your existing location. This will have a knock-on effect on the salaries you are required to pay.

Operating Costs – in many locations you will be required to pay rents in advance, or large deposits on commercial leases. In addition, you may also experience increased manufacturing costs or higher than expected costs for consumable items necessary to run your business.

Heeding this advice has been pivotal to our success, but we’ve also learnt from our mistakes.

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