Community Article

Ways to gain traction when expanding from Australia to the UK

Produced in collaboration with True Altitude, we’re sharing how to find success with your first big leap with our go-to-market do’s and don’ts.

With many founders looking to make the ambitious move of expanding their business from Australia to the UK, we’ve partnered with True Altitude publishing a series of articles to provide guidance and considerations to assist with parts of your expansion strategy. 

In this article, we’re sharing how to find success with your first big leap: gaining traction in the UK market. Read on as we reveal our go-to-market do’s and don’ts:

🍪 DON’T take the cookie cutter approach 

How much easier would it be to copy your business plan from Australia and paste it into the UK… Unfortunately, it’s wishful thinking. Commonality of language does not translate to commonality of culture, talent availability, customer problems and needs, and marketing and growth strategies. 

This also means your existing product market fit in Australia doesn’t automatically equal to the product market fit in the UK. Due to the UK’s market maturity, large size, and intensity of competition, looking into sub-sectors is what we’d recommend. The potential consequences of not doing the groundwork prior to taking your business over there include:

  • Local nuances can be missed, meaning your marketing misses the mark, failing to attract your target audience.
  • Growth and hiring budgets can become mis-directed. 
  • Hiring can quickly become a challenge if you cannot attract, retain or afford the talent you need in this new, local market. 
  • Partnership opportunities can pass you by because you’re not connected enough or to the right people. 

💥 DO define your niche in this new market 

With a market as large and innovative as the UK, your niche is potentially one of the most important things to prepare ahead of your expansion because it’s not just what will set you apart, it will also determine your success with customers, partnerships and investors. 

What might be a niche in the Australian market might not be a niche in the UK market, so you must do the groundwork beforehand to ensure you find your gap in the market – here’s why: 

  • If you don’t, you’ll be left scrambling to craft a new one when your focus should be on the next phase in the expansion strategy. 
  • Your niche is the foundation of your comms, marketing, sales, produce/service and even key hires - literally everything you need to bring you success in the UK market. 
  • Investors and VCs do their research and they will know if your product/service is truly unique or not. Don’t put yourself in that tight spot of having to be told, ‘you’re not actually that unique…’
  • Acknowledging trends that support your niche as scalable will sound impressive to investors, customers and partners. 

✈️ DON’T presume that relocating your senior team members to open the UK is your best option 

There is value to gain from hiring locally: strong local relationships, local market knowledge and existing credibility. All of which can accelerate your market entry growth. We typically see these individuals go on to build high-performing local teams. 

Our clients have the benefit of utilising our established international networks and unique methodology to hire awesome humans for the right roles to match their goals and stage of growth: 

  • Search: Prior to commencing a search, we work with key decision makers to ensure everyone is aligned on the brief.
  • Research: We create three documents: Job descriptions, candidate deck and task template along with an agreed GTM strategy.  
  • Feedback cycles: We source candidates through market research, proactive headhunting, generating referrals and existing contacts. 
  • Assessment: A deep-dive with our team to arrange informal reference checks, written tasks, skills, behavioural and social interviews and formal presentations.
  • Post-placement: We handle formal reference checks, offer and negotiation tactics, as well as offer onboarding and on-going support and check-ins. 

🚀 DO use partnerships as a vehicle for your growth 

In a new market there’s a lot of ground to cover and if it’s not feasible for you to be flying in and out regularly, then it can prove difficult to feel in control and maximise your growth potential without local assistance. The power of partnerships are something we continue to see, they can:

  • Amplify your voice and promote your business to external parties without physically being present in the local area
  • Extend your reach beyond your limits whilst you’re in another market, country and timezone. 
  • Help you to feel supported and in-the-know from local players as you navigate this new territory and market opportunities and customs. 
  • Delay the need to hire a large team in the early days of your expansion. 
  • Offer mentorship and advisor opportunities. 
  • Provide warm connection enablers which are favoured over cold introductions.

In summary, gaining traction in the UK requires a clear understanding of the market as well as a strategy aligning with your targets, capabilities and budget. This is so you can build a foundation to have a bigger chance of success when approaching investors in the UK market. 

Which is where our friends at True Altitude come in with the second article in this series!

To find out more expansion opportunities or how Think & Grow can help you expand internationally, email

Think & Grow are growth partners for bold technology businesses. We utilise our global network, deep market knowledge and best practice methodologies to facilitate sustainable growth across borders, help customers gain their first clients and pave the way for long-term, actionable strategies driving revenue growth and capitalising in undiscovered markets.

True Altitude is an investment & advisory firm working with early stage startups across B2B SaaS, FinTech, Logistics/ Supply Chain and E-Commerce sectors to grow through access to strategic partnerships, potential clients, and investors. As part of the advisory services, True Altitude can help overseas startups with UK Office Set up - localisation, representation, and also applying for the SEIS and EIS tax relief schemes when approaching capital raising. To find out more about how True Altitude can help with setting up you UK office, email


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