In a recent survey, nearly half of UK businesses expressed ambitions to expand internationally. The combined appeal of emerging markets and new revenue streams, and the uncertainty of the domestic market post-Brexit makes it all the more attractive for businesses to diversify their operations and branch out into new countries and territories.
Expanding overseas however comes with an inherent risk. Renting office space and employing a local workforce may help businesses to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers and gain local knowledge, but the financial outlay involved in managing capital and logistical requirements can be prohibitive. The risk of setting up shop in a new country without having tested the commercial waters is too great for many businesses and, poorly executed, can result in significant losses.
How then can businesses manage this risk? With the help of modern communications technologies, companies can quickly and easily employ a local presence to test their hypotheses without the financial burden. Utilising tools such as inbound, hosted voice and creating a virtual office in the new territory linked to their domestic solution, businesses can operate a lean communications environment that offers a single unified experience for the customer in that country.
With the right technology in place, businesses can provide a locally focused service, supported by local staff working from remote locations. Being able to establish proof of concept through minimal viable presence in the new country helps the business to test assumptions, and produces valuable performance data that can help inform whether to pursue greater investment in the market.
This approach also allows the business to get to market quicker. The virtual office can be set up in a matter of hours, offering a simple, cost effective solution and avoiding the large set up cost of local offices. Some of our clients have done this to great effect. For example, we have a client that recently expanded into Sweden. Set up only took a day, and they had everything up and running in only 72 hours.
So is your business thinking about expanding geographically? If so, it’s important to think in advance about what role communications will play in adapting your domestic solution for the new environment. With a low-cost, low-risk solution in place, your business can facilitate interaction and collaboration between your new employees regardless of their location, giving you a greater chance of succeeding in new markets.
babble can help you get started. We can work with you to assess your communications needs within the new market, and to get the infrastructure in place for your new employees to hit the ground running. It’s still a huge leap, but understanding the risks and testing the market to overcome them is key to ensuring you land on your feet and reap the benefits of a new stream of customers.
Need help in setting up your global communications infrastructure? Give us a call to find out how a unified communications network can support your business growth.