How to Start Your Next Office Abroad
Whether you’re a corporate giant seeking to cast its net ever wider, or a start-up hungry for growth, expanding your business to a new territory can be a very exciting time. But it is also a time fraught with logistical dilemmas. Maybe you have a successful export history with your chosen country, or maybe you’ll be beginning things there from scratch. Either way, it’s important to carefully evaluate the market and make balanced decisions. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Get a feel for things, keep operations small and manageable and then build from that once you find your feet.
Simplexity Travel Management will be there to help you every step of the way as you embark on your new venture. Our corporate travel experts have over 50 years’ experience and know all the ins and outs of relocation. From helping you find that wow-inducing office space to sorting out homely accommodation and everything in between, we’ll make sure the process is seamless.
Here are our top 5 tips for setting up an office abroad:
Do your research
Every country does business differently. Take the time to properly look at all the economic implications. What is the tax situation like? How long will it take you to register the company? It’s also important to familiarise yourself with the working culture of the country and make sure you have language support, if necessary. Market research is vital, particularly if you have never exported to the country. Your target audience may not necessarily be the same there. For example, something that has sold well to teenagers could wind up being popular with professionals. Stay open to new possibilities.
Find the right office venue
Establishing a new office, a physical presence, in a country where you may already have a loyal fanbase, is a sign that you’re truly committed to the market. And, of course, it’s important to pick the right location and the right building. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. There’s no point having a gleaming, skyscraper headquarters if you then find yourself haemorrhaging funds. You want something close to competitors with low rent, good transport links and nearby couriers in a good or up and coming neighbourhood. At Simplexity, we’re adept at ticking all these boxes.
Choose your people on the ground carefully
When setting up in a new country, you need someone you can trust, someone who lives and breathes the ethos of your company - but also knows the market in question. For example, if your plan is to move into China, you really need a Chinese candidate. Someone who has spent years in your business, familiarising themselves with all the nuts and bolts, and is now ready to move back to China and spearhead your new operation. Having reliable personnel, proficient in both languages and both cultures, is indispensable in a time of change.
Make the transition easy for employees
You’re asking someone to move overseas. They’ll be fronting the operation and acting as the first line of defence with any disasters - service crashes, legal wrangles, recruitment issues - so make sure they’re looked after. Finding a home for your employee in the new area and scouting out schools for their children is a good way to boost morale. Our corporate business team can help you with all the logistics.
Find good local venues for client meetings
Knowing where to take your clients in a new city for that all-important pitch or sales meeting is vital. After all, a perfectly-made mojito or super-comfortable armchair could mean that the handshake and signature on the dotted line are more forthcoming. For more information, see our blog post five exclusive bars to schmooze new clients in or talk to a member of the team.
Ready to call action on your travel plans? Talk to one of our dedicated travel managers on 0203 535 9290.