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Building global success

Posted by Chad O'Connor  November 26, 2013 11:00 AM

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The technology market is more competitive and complex than ever before. Building, growing and maintaining a global software company in an increasingly competitive market is no easy feat – take it from me, someone who has done it a few times. No matter the technology, however, there are a few key building blocks to use as you work to establish and quickly expand a business across key global markets.

Surround yourself with the best
This may sound fairly obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it goes overlooked or underperformed. Building a core group of employees from the get-go – and involving them in the foundation process – is critical to the success of any business. Keep in mind that you’ll be growing and adding to the roster, but a clearly defined core group is often a key differentiator to successful organizations. Make sure everyone is in the loop and understands the initial vision as you scale up and provide sales/marketing support across the globe.

Determine the end-game
Are you starting this company with the goal to be acquired, or are you going to keep it private until you retire? Consider where you see the company headed before you start laying down the groundwork too heavily. Depending on your goal – acquisition/IPO versus running it privately for cash – there are different business models and markets to keep in mind.

If you want to create a company that is cash-rich, consumer markets and technologies are good options. The entrance ticket price is the lowest, and sales, marketing and customer service is more affordable. Thus, you’re getting the business model with a low expense, which is typically more profitable than a corporate business. At the same time, acquisition or public market value is considerably lower for consumer-centric software companies.

On the other hand, if you’re considering an acquisition or IPO, think about choosing a corporate market. The higher your customer profile is (enterprise vs. small business), the higher the company value is. In this business you have considerably higher costs than in consumer and will have to invest in the growth.

If you want to have a successful exit from your business, I would not recommend running the company for sale. Run it as a private, healthy business (still considering the model differences) and there will be dramatically higher chances for a successful exit.

Identify emerging trends
You might have developed the most amazing technology in the world, but if you don’t see the bigger picture and how your technology applies to it, you’re doomed to fail before you even start. Take your expertise and get creative; understand where else this might fit and what other needs it might fulfill. It’s important to make sure you’re doing your research (especially on a global level) to truly understand what’s out there today.

Know where to focus (and where not to)
Successful entrepreneurs are filled with good ideas, and often what makes the savviest business person is the ability to focus on one project at a time. It’s especially difficult as you consider a global market, since catering to each requires a different approach. But referring back to the point of making sure you have a solid team, you should be able to rely on your team to take the ball to the end zone if you’re required to jump on another game.

Max Tsypliaev is CEO of Comindware.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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