Over the last decade, the business world has changed immeasurably. Now, it’s possible to launch an international company with nothing but a smartphone. Whether it’s pop up shops, digital marketplaces, or fully mobile, travelling brands; there are a hundred different ways to break the old rules and still make a profit.
In a continent like Southeast Asia, this kind of dynamism pays off. While the legal systems can feel a bit slow and creaky sometimes, there are tax breaks, government subsidies, and low-cost offices waiting to be turned into long term success. In the Philippines, for example, the startup scene is thriving, as entrepreneurs take advantage of hungry, fertile markets.
This guide to business expansion in the Philippines will show you how to grow, affordably.
Make Your Own Rules
The single biggest expense associated with launching a business is real estate. It costs a huge amount to rent most offices. Even in Manila, where rates are lower than they are in western countries, the overheads are sizeable. The good news is that many small businesses are starting to break the rules.
They’re bucking tradition and shrinking costs by splitting routines between virtual workspaces and home offices. For instance, virtual offices services from Servcorp will save your business more money. The physical space and resources are shared with other tenants. You can access them at any time, but the rates are low because you’re not the only one doing this.
Become a Collaborative Business
Speaking of sharing; virtual offices are not the only low-cost solution. You could also operate out of coworking facilities. They provide a bit more structure than virtual workspaces because they’re designed for heavier, more consistent use. Virtual environments can be accessed whenever you like, but they are primarily an off-site support system.
Sharing office space comes with some big perks. For one thing, it is a fast track to new contacts, interesting partnerships, and entry to the local culture. It also ensures that the resources you use (broadband, receptionists, administrative services) are of a premium quality. They are maintained by the vendor, so the cost is minimal for tenants.
Recruit Only When Needed
The second biggest expense is your own staff, but there are ways to control and manage these costs in the early years. If you’re a small business, with narrow profit margins, think carefully before taking on new recruits. Of course, you’re going to need to employ more and more people as the company grows.
However, initially, many tasks will either be required on a one off or irregular basis. Where this is the case, consider recruiting a part time worker or a freelancer. The latter operates during their own time, using their own resources. They usually command slightly lower rates, and you get top level results, without the added stress of caring for another core team member.
Keep Your Options Open
It’s worth remembering that both virtual and coworking spaces are a suitable option for as long as you need them. You always have the choice to upgrade and move into a more formal, private environment. So, essentially, young companies have the chance to grow fast and earn a tidy profit and then slow down and think about the next step.
If you work with an established provider like Servcorp, you’ll be able to ask for targeted, professional advice. This vendor, and others like it, operates a vast network of office facilities. You may be able to relocate to a private workspace owned by the same company. This ensures a sense of continuity and stability for your team.