Why branching out could be the key to evolving your business
Businesses should expand their horizons and lean on partners in the quest to transform
In order to survive in today's ever-changing business climate, companies must constantly adapt and evolve. Although this is widely accepted, it's not always clear how companies should transform themselves.
Change in a business can be as small as a few adjustments, or as great as a massive cultural shift, but how can you understand what kind of transformation is best for your company? One of the best ways is to learn from your partners. If you're currently struggling to gain new partnerships, the answer could be to invest in a new office location.
Expanding your reach to gain more partners
Research shows the majority of businesses say transformation is essential to meet changing customer requirements, and, certainly, businesses must strive to stay relevant. If a company isn't aware of its customers' needs then how will it know if it's moving in the right direction; remaining aligned to their needs, or moving further away?
One key change that could spark a domino-effect of positive transformation is by opening new offices. If your company is currently operating from a single location, it can be more difficult to form and maintain relationships with partners based remotely.
Learning how to improve your business involves observing how others work, and applying what works for them to your own organisation. By opening offices on the other side of the country, or even better, overseas, you can open your business up to a number of new opportunities. Moreover, prospective customers that were originally difficult to nail down in a Skype call could now be met face-to-face. Not only will new partnerships positively affect your bottom line, but it may also teach you how to better run your company.
Filling the skills gap
The skills gap, meanwhile, is one of the greatest challenges the tech sector has ever faced. As business operations become ever more dependent on IT and technology, demand for supporting skills continues to grow. At the same time, relevant specialist skills are becoming rarer and more difficult to recruit for.
This is a challenge that can be addressed in part by opening new offices in varying locations, as it gives a company access to specialist skills that might be difficult to find near to existing offices. This allows organisations to plug the skills gap across the business as a whole by recruiting from a completely new regional pool of candidates, previously unavailable due to pure geography.
Deciding where to open your new office
If your business is financially stable enough to be able to expand, there are many things to consider before taking the plunge. It's vital, for instance, that you research where in the world your best opportunities are, be it in another market, or down the road.
Do you have any existing contacts with potential partners? Take your warmest leads and see where they are based. If the company is particularly successful, part of this success may be that they've set up in a lucrative area.
Similarly, look out for any competitors. Do they already have a hold on the market in a certain location? If you're unsure whether you'll be able to make an impact in these areas, it may be sensible to look elsewhere. You know your business better than anyone and you've probably already formed an idea of where is best to open your next office. Do your research, but also remember to follow your gut.
Learn from your partners
It's also important to consider both your customers and partners when it comes to global expansion, and whether this move means you're still meeting their needs in the changing channel landscape.
When working with partners, take note of what you like about working with them. Try to meet them face-to-face in their own offices for the best opportunities to learn. From here, you can establish how their company culture feels, whether the atmosphere is more corporate or relaxed and if this suits the firm and its employees. You can also pick out differences with how your business works. If you find yourself thinking they do something better than you, it's an indication of how you could change your practices for the better.
Collaboration is one of the most positive ways for improving your own businesses practices, but it's nothing new in the IT channel. Make sure you remain open-minded, don't be resistant to change and don't be afraid to adopt good ideas around you. If something works well for one company, it's likely to work well for you if adopted in the right way. However, remember to hang on to what makes your company unique and don't compromise on this.
If you're feeling that your business is starting to stagnate or you're unsure how best to transform your company to adapt to shifting environments, it may be a good time to open a new office. New locations open up new opportunities and you'll never know when a new partnership could highlight a way to improve your business.
Richard Eglon is marketing director with Agilitas
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