If you have offices in multiple locations, what is one piece of advice you have for an entrepreneur about to expand to location #2?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
“There are several good reasons for opening a new office — tapping in to a new recruiting pool, having a customer service presence in the same time zone as your customers, and more — but it brings additional costs and complications. To help mitigate this, move key team members to seed the new office to build the culture and create a strong link between offices.”
“Check with your attorney to make sure you are not triggering any additional legal requirements. For example, different jurisdictions havedifferent registration requirements. You need to notify your legal counsel so you can determine whether your new business location will trigger any additional legal requirements.”
“You must have someone that you trust and is basically your clone. They will have to have that to make this work. Starting a second office will disconnect you with almost everything that’s going on in that office for quite some time. If you don’t have a man on the ground whomyou trust with your business you should really think twice.”
“Team meetings should take place between the offices regularly. Be sure a key person or team is responsible for maintaining brand consistency and expectations so that both locations are operating with the same goals in mind.”
“Choose a local area with favorable government regulations and tax philosophies. It must also have a college that pumps out the talent you need. Finally, assign a good communicator. You can set up a video feed or time blocks during the day for video conference calls. The critical thing is a leader you trust with excellent communication skills to bridge location No. 2 with your headquarters.”
“Have a plan for unwinding office No. 2 to downsize back to one. Sometimes expansion doesn’t work out and if you don’t have a plan to get back to the way things used to be, you‘ll be swallowed alive with negative cash flow.”
“We currently have three different locations, and the main problems we have encountered relate to communication. Weekly virtual meetings are a must in order to maintain regular contact with people from other locations, vital for the smooth running of a company. In our meetings we are able to discuss priorities and challenges, allowing us to work as a team and act fast as a company.”
“A major expense like office space puts you instantly in the red. Desperate for a return on such a big, risky investment, owners tend to rush hiring, furnishing, training etc, making poor choices that have the reverse effect. Consider a short-term lease in a shared office space and add desks as needed. The site accumulates less debt as its fledgling team transitions towards profitability.”