Leadership & Productivity
How to make your business global ready from the get-go
5 min read
19 October 2017
It's easier than you think to get global ready from day one of a new business. If you have ambitious plans, the important thing is to be ready and plan ahead.
Starting a new business can sometimes feel like a battle against the odds. And there are plenty of scary statistics to suggest that it’s more than just paranoia, and it’s easier than you think to get global ready.
Research by the Small Business Administration found that just 66 per cent of businesses will typically last past the first two years. So with fierce competition from larger and more established companies, how can a new company survive – and thrive?
Whenever these kinds of doubts rise to surface, it’s worth remembering the fantastic advantages that digital technology has handed to today’s start-ups. How newer companies are better equipped than ever before to compete in today’s business environment.
Cloud-based systems provide the tools needed to create flexible, reactive and efficient business frameworks which maximises the benefits of digital connectivity. Companies can be built from the ground-up to handle the challenges of a global business world.
They don’t carry the same “baggage” as a company whose work processes and attitudes are borne out of a pre-digital age. This can be highlighted by looking at the contrasting ways that old and new businesses manage their employee expenses.
An established company is likely to still be using a traditional approach to expense management with a monthly flood of paper receipts having to be manually processed. It’s a slow and error-prone way to work which places an increased strain on an organisation as it grows.
The weaknesses are particularly exposed if a company is looking to expand globally with finance teams having to cope with the complexities of manually collating fragmented information, along with handling multiple currencies and fluctuating exchange rates.
It’s the kind of administrative headache that has previously restricted global growth for those smaller companies which don’t have the administrative resources to meet the increased demands. But a new business can avoid these hurdles by adopting a digital expense solution.
A system such as webexpenses virtually eliminates the need for paperwork with manual tasks replaced by automated processes. A smartphone app is used by employees to convert any paper receipts they receive into a digital form, allowing accounts to be updated as and when costs are incurred.
All of the information is securely stored online, allowing a central finance team to monitor and manage costs across multiple offices or regions. The system automatically handles exchange rates and can apply any specific policy checks for different jurisdictions.
It’s an example of how digital systems can provide new start-ups with a significant advantages over more established competitors. In doing so, it creates a level playing field where the scale of a business no longer limits its ability to compete.
But the advantages aren’t just about business structures. These flexible and scalable systems are providing business leaders with the confidence to explore new opportunities and to start thinking globally from day one of operations. As the world becomes increasingly connected, it’s vital for every organisation to be global ready.
It’s much easier to achieve this for a fresh company than it is for those business which face the painful task of prying themselves away from outdated systems and attitudes. So while the challenge of scaling-up should not to be underestimated, there has never been a better time to be forging a new business.