The world of startup companies has many a challenge associated with it. When finances are limited, it can either force you to work more laterally and on your toes. Or it can cripple your progression and stop you in your tracks. Working in small business does mean that you have to sometimes make a few small sacrifices for the overall good of the company.
Or sometimes a big sacrifice, whether that is an employee who isn’t making the grade, or you need to start moving sites. On the other end of that spectrum, startups can completely fly off into the stratosphere. It can go from strength to strength. We all hope that is what happens for our own companies.
But if our business is small, can we expand enough to cope with the all new demands that are being put on it? One of the positive side-effects of expanding at such a speedy rate is having to set up a new site of operations.
Either you could be setting one up within the same country, or taking up a big challenge and setting up a site overseas. Whatever the outcome, there will always be things you need to prepare for.
Setting up the first steps to operating on a larger scale
The first question you may be asking yourself is, where do I begin? If you are establishing your business, whether overseas or in the same country. You need to give your business an assessment in terms of its due diligence. It could be complete world domination or countrywide success.
But whatever your goal is, you will need to assess the impact it will have on your business. Once that has been established, you then start to create the appropriate business plan, and the strategy to put those pieces into place. Moving a business to another country has its own individual challenges.
And each market has its own specific nuances that you need to become acquainted with. Factors that can affect businesses in other countries can include the differences in culture. As well as this, the markets and the economic factors. Also, the governments or local authorities.
If you are developing a whole new strategy, you need to make sure that you are making it as localized as you can to that area. At the same time, you need to keep it true to what your business ethos and objectives are.
When you have put these factors into place, you then need to make sure that you are getting the right staff. You may think that obtaining employees from the local area and then training them up is the best way to go. The problem with this is that it is a very time-consuming process.
The preferred approach is to use senior executives or the higher staff members. This will help to speed up the process altogether. So you can get the business established quicker and easier while going through the hiring process.
Getting the product good to go
Getting the product ready to sell on another site or in another country is an aspect that needs precautionary steps to be taken. You would need to start analyzing the regulations that are specific to the industry overseas.
Doing this will make you aware if there are certain certifications that are needed. Depending on where you would move your company, there could be a necessity to localize the product moreso. This could arise if there are issues in terms of the language or a country where English is not widely spoken.
After that, you can then start to place patents on the products that you are selling. Then you can start to test the product in accordance with the local standards.
Logistically, you would need to make sure that all of the relevant documents are in place. If you had products that you would ship abroad using freight companies, there are certain checks that need to be put into place. You also would need a significant amount of funds behind you to cover the transportation costs.
Once the product is moved, it would then need to be distributed within the country using reputable transport firms. Again, this is something where funds are greatly needed. If you can prepare your research on the right alliance for your product, then this can do your business more good than anything.
Getting the right technology in place
The key to ensuring the business runs as smooth as it can go will require complete communication and productivity.
Using a software package that is efficient, unified and is easily workable is what needs to be on your list of priorities when it comes to tech. The one problem that arises again and again over different sites is a lack of cohesive communication.
Have a program that you can integrate into your existing office systems easily. And also, have one that is connectable to the cloud. This will keep the business sites working together more efficiently. For example, a program like Templafy, integrates with Office suits, automate brand compliance and can streamline how you create files.
Making sure that you have a system that is constant over the different sites is a time-saving tool. And it is one that will reduce a lot of teething problems when it comes to setting up another location.
Another item of tech that you can use to keep your business costs down is to use a VoIP phone system. The Voice-Over Internet Protocol phone system is a system that can be connected to your internet, which can save on calls to other countries.
The great thing about these types of systems is that they are easily connected to your office systems, and it is a good tool for contact with other sites.
For example, you can send a voicemail message directly to a colleague’s email inbox. Or you can turn your desktop computer into a “softphone.” It also has options to connect with remote workers using their cellphones.
Another tool for multiple locations that businesses benefit from is EDI (electronic data interchange). You can use this as a way to transfer data from one company to another, a great help if you want to get information transferred far away very quickly.
It is handy to have an in-house IT team to help, or you can outsource a company to do EDI integration. The files that are transferred are in their own specific EDI “language.” So if you don’t have the know-how, then outsourcing is another cost to factor in.
As soon as the basics and the right tech is in place, you can now start to push through with your organization. You will need to make sure that the business is clued up in the different policies and procedures overseas, and making sure that you are flexible in these will improve your execution of the company.
From there, your marketing strategy will need to be more wide-ranging. If you are hoping to pinpoint certain markets or clients in different countries, you need to be focused on what their needs and make sure that you are clued up in the different procedures.
When it comes to hiring local employees, make sure you are knowledgable in the unique employment law. Knowing your basics will get you by in the short-term. But if you develop benefit programs to attract employees locally, you can start to get the attention from the right type of people.
Once the staff is in place, your marketing strategy has been nailed down, and you have total communication over the different locations, the business can start to trade properly, across a larger catchment area and your business should go from strength to strength!