Jose has over 20 years of experience in the tech industry across quality analysis, project management, service delivery, and strategy. He is Mexican by birth, but had most of his career in Europe, specifically Poland, where he lived for almost 13 years.
Jose joined STX Next in 2016 as a Senior Service Delivery Manager and worked in this role for over two years before leaving to take on other challenges. He rejoined the company in 2021 as a board member and Director of Strategic Services, and he was extremely influential in STX Next’s expansion to Latin America in this position.
Jose is currently the Managing Director of STX Next LatAm, finalizing the branch setup and helping the new branch maximize opportunities in both the North and South American market.
STX Next is a global software development company with some of the best tech talent in Europe and Latin America, including UI/UX designers, software developers, DevOps engineers, machine learning engineers, data engineers, and expert consultants with various tech expertise.
We’ve been serving clients from around the globe since 2005, helping them build and scale products faster. We recently expanded to Latin America to be closer to some of our clients and better serve the American and neighboring markets.
This article covers our discussion with Jose extensively. However, you can watch our full interview with him via the link below:
Setting up a new company branch in a new country may not be in your company’s plans for this year or the next, but the perfect time for your business to expand to another market may be sooner than you think. And if you’re so caught up with executing the company’s plan for just one year, you may miss the signals when it’s time for your company to expand.
According to Jose, “You’ll stand a better chance of maximizing international opportunities at the right time if you listen to the market.” Your company’s plans should be flexible to accommodate market demands.
Pay attention to market trends, speak to people in your industry in different countries, and listen to your customers’ needs. You may find out that there’s high demand for your company’s services and products in another country.
If you discover that your company could have made the move earlier, try not to miss out on other available opportunities. In Jose’s words, “You might have missed the first train, but don’t miss the second train.”
Nursing personal thoughts of expanding to other countries is great, but setting up in another country can be challenging if you try to do so alone. Hence, it’s best to get other members of the management team on board early. This may not be easy, though, especially if the team would rather focus on the company’s short-term plans.
If you believe the market would appreciate the expansion sooner than planned or you’re looking to sell the idea to the management team, Jose recommends getting your management team to revisit the company’s expansion plan.
You can start by having one-to-one conversations with select managers on the need for the company to expand earlier than planned. You can share findings from your research on market behavior, customers’ needs, and demands that support your company’s expansion plan. This will enable the management team to identify opportunities in other countries before it becomes too late.
After you have identified an opportunity for your company to expand to a new location and convinced the management team to buy into the idea, you still need to prepare adequately for the expansion to avoid investing in the wrong location or project. Here are some tips to help you properly plan your company’s expansion:
You should research the market extensively to avoid mistakes and minimize risks when setting up a new branch or kicking off a new project.
If you’re wondering what you should be researching, Jose recommends researching the number of potential talent, the type of companies operating there, the legal requirements for conducting business in that market, the availability of clients, and the location where the new branch will be situated.
You can save time spent on researching by interacting with residents of the country where your company is planning on setting up a new branch. They know how things work in their country, so they can point you in the right direction.
You may also need a resident for official reasons, as some countries require that one of the shareholders or directors of resident companies must be a citizen or resident of the country. Hence, it’s best to build a relationship with a resident beforehand.
Expanding your company’s operations is risky. Therefore, it’s best to consult and seek expert opinions before you make the move. Engage lawyers, tax consultants, or corporate services firms familiar with the requirements of doing business in the country or location of your choice. They will be able to advise you on several issues you might have ignored or missed during your research.
Jose recommends speaking with people who have expanded their companies in different territories, such as friends, acquaintances of friends, or recommendations of your network. Their experiences will help you make better decisions and avoid mistakes. Also, you’ll be getting richer information from different sources.
You don’t have to plan or figure out everything alone. You’ll need support from other team members to move at a faster pace.
Jose recommends setting up an internal team and assigning the team member research or tasks related to the expansion. In his words, “You can divide subtasks among the team and assign one person to a subtask.”
You may lead your company’s expansion project, but at the end of the day, successful global expansions are usually the result of teamwork and collaboration.
Expanding to another country may be a great opportunity for your company, but it may also affect your company’s operations negatively if not properly managed. Here are some common risks to avoid:
According to Jose, expanding to a new location could create a divide between your company’s branches, with each branch acting independently, creating its own processes, or modifying the company’s standard processes without approval.
Hence, ensuring that your company’s culture is maintained in any new branch is highly recommended. As Jose puts it,“You need to avoid creating separated silos with each new branch and ensure that you’re building a single company.”
If you’re wondering how to maintain your company’s culture at the new company branch, the following tips from Jose should help:
According to Jose, your company’s culture should be incorporated into the expansion planning process. This way, you can make sure that the company’s culture will be implemented throughout the expansion.
For instance, your company’s culture should be reflected in the important decisions you make for the new company branch, such as hiring decisions, methods and procedures, work environment, etc.
While your team will be working from different countries and offices, it’s best to create synergy between the teams to maintain the company’s culture and the quality of work across all offices. Jose advises leveraging the competencies of team members to build that synergy.
For instance, you can organize a training session where a team member who is great at certain skills or processes can share best practices, techniques, tips, and things to avoid with the other team members, so that they can apply these tips to their projects.
Jose also recommends that you create an avenue for the teams working from different locations to interact with each other occasionally. This can be during team meetings and team bonding exercises.
Your company may be well-known in the country where their headquarters are located. However, if you’re moving to a new location, it’s best to paint the narrative you want your customers and the market to know about your company.
Don’t assume that the new branch will enjoy the same reputation as the head office. You will be dealing with a new market, new clients, and new employees. Hence, it’s best to paint the new branch in a positive light to stakeholders.
The location of your company’s new branch can open up multiple opportunities for the company or affect your company’s performance. That’s why it would be best if you made an informed decision on your company’s new branch location.
For example, picking a location based on subjective factors like air quality, tourist attractions, or personal ties to the country probably won’t be in your company’s best interest.
Instead, it would be smartest to consider objective factors such as the opportunities available for your company, the quality of talent in the location, the impact you can make in the country or city, and the profitability of doing business there. As Jose puts it, “Invest in a city with great potential.”
According to Jose, setting up a new branch in a new jurisdiction without considering the regulations and requirements for conducting business is like the beginning of a bad joke.
You may run into trouble with the authorities and risk your operations being shut down. The reputational damage this could cause your company defeats the purpose of taking your company global.
Jose recommends consulting law firms that understand the local law in the country you want to expand to and have them walk you through the steps needed to legally set up your business in that country, along with the implications it will have on your business.
Setting up a company comes with many administrative processes and bureaucracies. It may be tempting to skip those and get right into business. However, it’s best to avoid cutting corners, since you risk your company’s operations being interrupted or suspended if you do so.
Again, Jose recommends speaking with experts so you can fully understand all the administrative processes. For instance, you need to figure out the right business structure and consider labor laws when hiring international talent.
Undoubtedly, global expansion comes with many benefits to companies, consumers, countries, and other stakeholders. However, it’s a demanding and risky process that could end either positively or negatively.
Therefore, while you may shorten the planning phase to meet urgent needs in the market, you still need to ensure that everything is done properly at the very beginning and those fundamentals are solid enough for you to then build further.
Luckily, with the tips shared here, you should be able to minimize the risks associated with opening up a new global office and expand your business worldwide.
Thank you for reading our article! If you found it useful, you should also check out the following resources on our company blog:
If you’re operating in the American market or nearby, STX Next is now right in your neighborhood. We’re currently attracting some of the best talent in Mexico to meet your software development needs. Feel free to contact us and we’ll see how we can help you take your digital product to the next level or get you started without delay!