To be a success in the South-east Asian market, you need to be flexible, creative, and willing to work hard to forge the right connections and relationships. In countries like the Philippines, the economy is booming and there are plenty of opportunities for foreign business owners, but it can take a while to get to grips with the culture.
While Filipinos are notoriously warm and friendly, they hold personal friendships in high regard. A huge amount of business is passed between pals and colleagues before it reaches anybody else. This can be frustrating for westerners, at first, because it feels like being frozen out. However, a little change in perspective and you’ll see that diving head first into Filipino culture and society is a great way to circumvent this.
Great relationships aren’t the only asset that you need, though. This guide to picking a superb office location will put you on the right track to success.
Location Is Everything
You must start with an impressive corporate location. This is not a superficiality. It is an effective tool, which will get you noticed by investors and give your company a great start in the Philippines. For instance, check out the prestigious addresses on offer at Servcorp Philippines. This provider of serviced and virtual offices has facilities on Ayala Avenue and in Makati City. Both are close to central business districts and have great transport links.
Image is still very important for businesses and, while you may be able to operate a startup venture efficiently from your bedroom, it simply doesn’t look professional. You need a corporate address if investors are going to take you seriously. The big benefit of virtual and serviced packages is that they don’t require lock-in leases. You can pick the rate and level of service that is right for you.
Negotiable Terms and Low Overheads
For young companies, efficiency is everything. Until you’re up on your feet and making money, you’ve got to find a way to offset all of those essential starting costs. This has, traditionally, been one of the biggest challenges for new businesses. Renting an office (usually for an obligatory 2-5 years), filling it with furniture, and powering it every day is no mean feat.
In fact, it represents a huge investment in a future that can’t be guaranteed at the time. If you don’t start making a profit quick, you can’t settle the debts and they’ll start to spiral. There is a way to get around it, though. With a serviced office, you’re paying to access a ‘ready for use,’ fully furnished workspace. There is a fixed monthly fee and it includes cleaning, heating, lighting, furniture, broadband, and more.
A Robust, Efficient Infrastructure
If you do opt for a serviced or virtual workspace in Manila, you’ll be eliminating all kinds of potential problems. As it is not your job to maintain the corporate resources – broadband, telephone answering, mailboxes, IT support, lighting, etc. – you have a right to demand that they’re always available. You’re paying to access them, so they need to be fully operational at all times.
This means no internet outages, no disruptions from cleaners, no broken chairs, and absolutely no dim, unsuitable, or uncomfortable workspaces. For the price of your monthly fee, everything is taken care of. Do be sure to ask questions about data capabilities, internet speeds, and any other requirements that you have. Most facilities have conferencing rooms and meeting areas that can be hired on a ‘pay as you use’ basis.
Why a Great Office is Your Road to Future Success
While the rules of the game have changed and flexible, agile business models are growing in popularity, many corporate assets remain the same. For instance, a dedicated corporate address is still expected of even smaller companies. Investors, suppliers, and clients want to know that you have a serious, suitable base to work out of. The quicker you can find one, the sooner you’ll be able to start making an impact in the Philippines.