How do I find a consultant that has experience with opening up international offices/branches?
We are a full-service retail consulting company based in Chicago. We are looking to open an office in the UK but uncertain on the rules, taxes, and regulations. Also, staffing the office with the appropriate personnel is another concern for us.
We are looking for advice from the Business.com community on the best way to find a business consultant who has specific experience as mentioned above?
My colleagues and I run a consulting business in Europe including helping people to set up a base in EU or UK. I am now living in Spain but my colleagues live in the UK and most of our consulting projects are UK based.
We have all worked for multinationals in our previous life (GEC, Lucent Technologies, Avaya, Samsung, etc.), so we can give you a good insight in the UK business and legal map.
First thing first. British and Americans are 2 nations divided by the same language. The fatal mistake both British and American companies make is that they think they are just going to work in another country that speaks English with a funny accent! (Yes we know you guys take the Mickey out of us too!)
Having worked on both sides of the Atlantic, and both for British and American companies, I have seen this first hand. Culturally UK and US cannot be more different, which is reflected in their different business, legal, and political systems. So you will have a steep learning curve in all of these areas.
Second point is if you are planning to use UK as a springboard to Europe, I have to tell you that those days are gone (at least will be gone soon with Brexit). All multinationals that I worked for used UK as the HQ for Europe, but that will end soon. At least 3 of them that I still keep in touch with are looking at relocating and moving their European operations into the EU. So from March 2019, UK will no longer be the gateway to Europe, and in fact quite the reverse as UK and EU become separate and competing bastions. Most UK general public has not really woken up to this yet, but the business sector is acutely aware of this and is planning ahead for change no matter what they say to the press and the public.
Here is the link to our consulting business http://www.cognisantassociates.co.uk/ and please get in touch with me so that we can discuss your requirements (no fees for initial consultation) and I will then introduce you to the partners who specialise in your field.
Often, the best course is not to open an office . But to operate from an office that is open.
To use a team that is already hired. And not hire a team
Have you thought about acquiring / collaborating with a small consulting firm, in the target country ( UK , in this case ) ? When you add in the benefits of hitting the ground running, and the existing cash flows. And then factor in the uncertainty of success which a new office carries.
Contact with a specialized agency or consultant. In the UK there are many and with a Google search, I am sure you will find the right staff.
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You my try the nearest British Consulate. When I was in the Boston area the consulate their was very active in attracting US companies and facilitating their setting up in Britain. I'm sure there's a consulate in Chicago that can help you--either from their own office or by referring you to a consultant.