The growth of a business usually requires expansion of its production, and delivery channels or the need for larger or new premises to meet its increasing demands. An organisation develops its expansion plans based on the nature of its business and clientele. A business might need to open branch offices in a different location for several reasons such as, to meet the demands of its customers, beat the competition, or cope with different market forces impacting the business, etc.
Setting up a new office in a new location is a complex process wherein multiple factors need to be considered before and during the establishment of the new office. Hence, it is essential that the enterprise develops a well-structured roadmap to establish its new office.
How to set up a branch office in a new city?
Establish your objective: Why are you thinking of setting up a branch office? What kind of turnover do you expect? Answers to such questions will help you establish clear goals.
Choose a location: Study the various market conditions, local demand for your product/service, etc. before deciding on the best location for your business. In fact, it is helpful to compare different locations based on specific factors to arrive at the best location for the branch office.
Market analysis: Analyse the various prevailing market forces and their impact on your business. Depending on the type of products/services you offer, market forces such as demand, accessibility to the location, footfall, etc. will impact the success or failure of your branch office.
Competitor analysis: Before freezing the location for your business, assess the competition in that location. Check if you can compete against the established businesses in the location. Determine how you can differentiate your product/service in the given location.
Consider the online option: Check if you can offer your products/services to your customers remotely. Remote operations greatly reduce the costs and hassles of establishing a branch. Hence, it is an option worth exploring.
Develop a business plan: Once you have decided on the location for your branch office, the next step would be to develop a business plan. You can, of course, replicate some elements from your existing business to develop a strategy that will help you achieve your goals.
Assess the setup and operating costs and ensure cash flow: Based on the operations to be performed, the infrastructure required, technology needs, etc., determine the operating and set-up costs. Make sure that you have a steady supply of finances to establish and run your new office.
Create infrastructure: Setting up a new office requires that you establish the basic physical and organisational structure, facilities, etc. for the office to be functional.
Establish your processes and workflows: Develop different workflows for your new branch office. Determine what processes will constitute the workflow.
Set up accounting: One of the first steps while establishing a branch office is setting up accounts. This will help you track your expenses and enable you to optimise the cash flow.
Purchase supplies and inventory: As your new office begins to take shape, you will need to procure supplies to set up the premises. If you are selling products in the branch, you will need to acquire inventory as well.
Build an organisational structure for the branch office Develop an organogram, establish roles and responsibilities and a hierarchy for your workforce.
Ensure compliance with all laws: Make sure that you comply with all the state and central laws for the branch.
Recruit professionals: Based on the organisational structure, you will need to recruit professionals for different roles. Finding the best talent can be a tough task especially because you need to hire a large number of employees with different skill sets. Scouting for talent, interviewing and selecting the right candidates can take a lot of time. Hence, do consider the option to outsource recruitment to a professional company. Careernet is a leading recruitment process outsourcing company that meets the recruitment needs of different types of organisations.
Establish training programs: Once you have onboarded the new employees, you will need to train them for their roles. They will also have to be groomed to adapt to your organisational culture.
Marketing & promotion: Spread the word about your new location through various online/offline channels. Print ads, hoardings, etc. along with marketing on relevant social media channels will help increase the visibility of your branch office.
Establishing a branch office in a brand new location is an exciting venture. However, if it is not done systematically, it will not provide the results you expect. Hence it is important to collaborate with your team and carefully develop a roadmap for establishing and running your new office.
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