If you've got a business back home, a move overseas has an added layer of stress. How do you deal with contacts, staff, suppliers? Will your firm survive your expatriation?
Start-up businesses in particular are vulnerable. In the first two years of trading, you are building up your customer base and your reputation. Any move, nationally or internationally, is bound to result in some downtime and lost leads. But what are the benefits of branching out?
I spoke to Daniel Abrahams, co-founder of MyCurrencyTransfer.com, who recently relocated this thriving internet start-up from the Google @ Campus in London to TechLoft in Tel Aviv.
Their business is expanding rapidly. MyCurrencyTransfer.com and its sister site, MyTravelMoney.co.uk, have already helped more than 1.2 million visitors find a fairer and cheaper deal on both travel money and international payments.
However, the opportunity to move their headquarters to Israel, known as the ‘start-up nation’, for three months was hard to resist.
“We want to be immersed in one of the most dynamic and successful startup hubs in the world,” Daniel said. “During our stay in Tel Aviv, we will meet face-to face with other high impact startups, entrepreneurs, and investors. In the first week of being here, we’ve spontaneously met literally dozens of high impact, high potential companies that are only too happy to knowledge share.”
When it came to making the decision, Daniel turned to a good old-fashioned list of pros and cons. The pros won out and, now, he wants to inspire other Brits with a business big or small to take the plunge.“You’ve got to focus on the pros,” he said. “Think of the Serendipity Factor - if the opportunity arises to move overseas, perhaps that’s happened for a reason? It’s an opportunity to build your company culture and widen your network. And, with advances in technology, there’s no reason why you can’t have your PR firm, accountant and admin in London while you relocate. That’s where cloud computing excels!”
Moving also keeps you on your toes. “Getting too comfortable in one environment can be your own worst enemy,” Daniel said. “I want to see the world and new business environments. There’s also a good chance that you may be able to find and nurture local talent you might not otherwise come across.”