When you’re a brand new business, just starting out in the world, it can seem absurdly ambitious to be thinking about a time when you might spread across the globe. Yet, this does become a reality for many entrepreneurs and, while exciting, it brings a lot of challenges. One of the biggest is creating and maintaining a workplace culture when your branches are far apart.
The difference between a successful, unified business and a bunch of minor international branches is cohesion. If there is no clear link between the people and objectives at each of your facilities, how do investors and consumers know that you’re a strong global presence? It isn’t an easy feat, but it is an essential part of building a future for your company.
This guide to creating, strengthening, and maintaining links between branches will give you some ideas on how to stay connected.
Keep Your IT Healthy
Whether your branches are spread out across Australia, Asia, Europe, or the world, the key to bringing them together is technology. Now, there’s a lot of different options to choose from and each business has its own unique needs. What they do all have in common, however, is the need for reliable IT maintenance.
The minute that a piece of software or computing equipment malfunctions, you could be cut off from important news in other areas. So, investing in high-end services is always worthwhile. With the support of a virtual office at Servcorp, for example, you get instant access to a highly trained team of IT experts. They are on hand around the clock to ensure you run smoothly.
Pick the Right Tools
The staff at a virtual facility can also offer you advice on the best communications tools. Traditionally, businesses used to install Wide Area Networks (WANs) to link up distant branches. WANs bring LANs (local area networks) together to form a secure, long-distance communications system. The only problem is that setting up either one can be costly.
To get around the expense, you can operate out of a shared office space which is managed by a virtual provider. That way, you aren’t responsible for the installation or maintenance costs. All you have to do is pay a small monthly fee to access a range of ready made resources. This includes security programs, networking software, and high-end communications tools.
Make a Move to the Cloud
The alternative to traditional hardware is cloud computing. It completely negates the need for physical, legacy infrastructure, so it is cost effective and very easy to maintain. It is also highly scalable and it updates itself. In fact, cloud solutions are some of the safest, most efficient technologies to emerge over the last decade.
They can handle everything from anti-spam systems to email archiving, remote monitoring, data backup, desktop management, and more. Normally, firewalls and virus scanning software are updated during downtimes (overnight, for example), so that it causes no disruption to your work. However, you still get to be fully protected and at every single branch too.
Establish a Robust Policy
No matter how you decide to stay connected, the important thing is that you maintain a high level of consistency. This means that every branch knows exactly what is expected of them and how to further your brand narrative. Cohesion can be created by implementing identical security, recruitment, and marketing policies.
If you’re a small company and you’re planning to make virtual offices your ‘branches,’ it’s essential that you work out how and where tasks will be performed. Remote work can only be successful if the focus is placed on results. If you’re not present, you simply cannot police or monitor the actions of distant employees. What you can do is hold them to strict objectives.