I agree with David O'Neil. In your type of business, I would not spend money on a physical presence until you have established yourself. You can achieve this by partnering with companies that provide complimentary services or even competitors who only offer a limited version of your product lines and you could fill out their product offerings. Good luck with your expansion.
I wouldn't put money into going direct unless you think you can develop and manage a sales force at that distance and time difference.
I believe your best to partner with a US consulting company that delivers compimentary services or buy similar services on a small scale. Yes, there are some downsides to "partnerships" but this arrangement can give you instant presence and savvy in the marketplace.
Having an actual office seems unimportant for your services. You're fulfilling services from somewhere else anyway.
What is important is to have a presence in whichever geographical area you're trying to gain foothold in.
The question is: which level of presence is right for you?: Is virtual presence good enough? For outsourcing of various kinds my experience is that some form of physical presence is strongly recommended.
Set up your presence by hiring people or working with a freelance sales professionals. If you choose to work with freelance sales professionals it's important to be able to pay a monthly retainer and avoid working with 100% commission.
It would be a great capital and human investment to have a presence abroad. It would give extra comfort and more interactions while making a presentation and sales pitch. Seeing is believing that would bring comfort in customers as well as getting more business by personal meetings and giving comforts to the customers that the company has a USA office .They would be less hesitant to ask their concerns before making the decision. Pradeep Berry
As you can see from the many different good answers you received - there is no such thing as a generic answer to such a wide and very open question.
It very much depends on the scale, the scope, the nature of the business as well as the type of customers you are dealing with.
In many cases - customers (especially large ones) will insist on having a local representation.
On the other hand - local representation is an added cost, which contradicts one of major drivers to outsource.
The best way to deal with this question is to systematically build a business case with pros and cons (with attached $ values)
Thanks for your question.
In Australia, companies have a strong preference for working with outsourcing providers who have a presence here, in Australia. We want to know that if something goes wrong with the service there is someone based locally that we can call or visit.
I would suggest that establishing a physical presence in any country you wish to grow your business is very important. There is a measure of legitimacy earned by having that presence, not to mention that many entities require a physical presence before they will do business with you. I don't know the nature of your business or your goals for expanding abroad. If you would like to share some more details with me, I would be happy to discuss the topic in more detail. Who knows - I might even be able to help you set up that office, if that is indeed the best course of action for you. Let me know if you'd like to discuss offline as well. We specialize in helping professionals establish a physical presence in over 100 countries around the world.
If the outsourcing supplier/seller itself is located in India, you should not have to establish a sales office in India but you will need the right inside personnel in the Indian company to regularly communicate with and the right leader of this company to break logjams, juggle priorities and make sure the work for your clients gets done correctly and to schedule. It makes sense to have a sales office in the major geographic markets you expect to be marketing and selling. It also makes sense to have these sales offices staffed with someone who knows the outsourcing company well and speaks their language as well as the same type of resource for the country in which the sales office is located.
Totally against outsourcing- what you save in money you lose in efficiency and translation. Just because a person speaks English does not mean they comprehend English.
When doing business in another country, be it sales or procuring products to sell here......my experience is, if you actually need an office there, you need a native of that country working for you. However, a person that has spent plenty of time here, knows the English language and our culture. If you don't have the wherewithal to do that, just do it from here digitally = do it right or don't do the physical office.
As a consumer of such services and a provider of technology services, I can tell you those companies I can work with on my time-zone, with sales rep/project managers where English (or market language) is the first language is huge.
There are a lot of options:
1- Partner with existing firms and developers in the area to broaden your presence.
2- Virtual Offices provide a great "facade". They often have an answering service available as well.
It is always a great idea to have a presence, however you can achieve this without a FULL time office. Most of the time going to your prospective clients office is better. This gives you and the sales professional a chance to see the problem, 1st hand at the location. I would use a Office suite style system to keep overhead down until the business can support a FULL time office space.
Let me know IF I can help you in this area.