It’s safe to say that growing your business takes more than time and passion; it also requires a sizeable amount of capital to get it going. This can get pretty expensive, especially if you’re planning to move into a new country. Thankfully, advances in technology and the Internet have made it easier than ever to save a few bucks here or there. After consulting a number of young, but promising startups from the different countries, I can offer these suggestions that, if you aren’t aware of, could help save you time and money.
Ways to Reduce Cost of Expanding Abroad
We all know that hiring and training employees can rack up the bill significantly. With a big number of them, these costs can skyrocket in no time, especially considering that in some countries providing benefits such as health insurance is required by law; which will certainly add up in your bottom line.
This is where I like to point out the benefits of outsourcing in the global market. Hiring freelancers or even companies for a specific project you need to get done is fast and easy. Whether you need help developing your website or maybe your company is in need of tech support, outsourcing is the best way to get staff without having to train them or even pay for office space so that you can save a ton of money.
Even if you’ve reduced some of the costs by outsourcing, you’ll still need to hire at least some employees to get your business started abroad. Webinars, I’ve discovered, are an excellent tool you can put to use when training new employees.
By making use of webinars to train your staff with, your company will be saving on venue expenses, travel costs, food and drink and, even more importantly, time spent commuting. The use of webinars can also help better your company’s image, just be sure you choose the right tool.
I’ve tried using Skype and HangOuts before. However, these are not great at group calls. That’s why you should use software designed to be used as a webinar. In my experience, the best one for the job is ClickMeeting.
Not only does it do what you want it to do, but it also gives you the option of running custom-branded webinars that will display your logo and colors throughout the entire webinar’s interface. No downloads are needed for participants, therefore, it is all good for conducting meetings with a team, partners, and clients.
Allow remote work
Nowadays, more and more businesses are enabling remote work for their employees. Not only is this a way to keep up with the times, but it will also save you some money and make your employees happier at the same time.
Telecommuters have been found to be less stressed and more productive than their office-working peers. Also, by offering the option of remote work to your employees, you’ll experience less turnover. Meaning that you won’t have to replace highly-trained staff as often.
Going paperless will help your company reduce costs at the same time as it makes it more environmentally-friendly. An average office worker uses up to 10,000 sheets of paper a year, according to this infographic by PaperKarma and Catalogue Spree. That can certainly add up to some serious spending.
A great way to combat that and help save the trees is to start going digital. Share documents through cloud storage platforms such as Dropbox, send invoices and payments through sites like Paypal, etc. There are thousands of choices when it comes to going paperless.
Trade and/or barter
Some companies, when they’re strapped for cash, will offer their goods and services in exchange for a good/service they’re in need of. Bartering and trading are well-known ways of conducting business that have been around for years and will help your business reduce costs. It also comes in handy as a way to get in touch with local companies.
If you’re looking to go global, you should always check into all the ways that you can cut costs to make Remember, whenever you’re moving your business to a new country, you’ll need to research and become aware of regulations, legislation, and legal requirements involved. Often, the most practical advice comes from others who’ve been down that path before you, and are most familiar with the country’s business customs and practices.
image credit: bigstockphoto.com
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Melissa Burns earned a Journalism degree from Iowa State University. She is an entrepreneur and independent journalist who spends her time writing articles, overviews, and analyses about entrepreneurship, startups, business innovations and technology. She has also conducted workshops and provided consulting services for young, but promising startups. Follow her @melissaburns.