By Craig Dempsey and I am the CEO of Founder of the Biz Latin Hub Group
Expanding abroad is a big step for any company, from small- to medium-sized enterprises to international groups.
Many opportunities await businesses who make the bold move to step into a new market. The challenge, for those who have done their homework and are aware of the risks involved, can be rewarding.
It is vital to assess your market entry strategy carefully, but managing risk does not stop there. Companies must regularly assess their compliance with local corporate regulations and undertake due diligence to ensure their next moves will be positive for business growth.
We outline key elements to manage business risk abroad: conducting entity health checks and ensuring due diligence in business operations.
What is an entity health check?
An entity health check is a review conducted by auditors external to the company to assess its ‘health’ or status in the eyes of the government. These reviews may also be known as ‘corporate health check’ or ‘corporate compliance check.’
Entity health checks, which are usually focus on the legal and financial conditions of the company, with assess compliance with:
- registry filings
- minutes of meetings and statutory registers
- licensing agreements
- employment records
- company finances
- taxes and social security contributions.
The auditor will then provide a report to business owners that outlines their overall compliance with local regulations. Auditors may outline discrepancies in the information available to them, outstanding requirements or non-compliance issues.
Why get an entity health check?
Entity health checks give the business owner forewarning of any compliance-related issues that could result in sanctions from the government. Experienced auditors may also be able to provide advice on potential savings for a business.
By undertaking an entity health check – usually before the end of the financial year when due dates for filing information arise – business owners are informed and empowered to remedy any potential issues with their company’s regulatory obligations, avoiding penalties or delays to operations imposed by the government.
Manage business risk by taking preventative action and understanding how your compliant your company is with local corporate regulations. This is especially helpful for business owners who aren’t familiar with the regulatory context of the new market they have entered.
Partner with trusted corporate secretarial services providers
To ensure you get the greatest degree of assurance from your auditor, partner with experienced and trusted corporate secretarial service providers operating within the country you have expanded to. They are the best source of knowledge and guidance for operating in compliance with unfamiliar local regulations.
Their support will enable new market entrants to safely navigate the business environment and support successful long-term commercial activities.
Ensuring due diligence to manage risk
When operating in a new environment, executives and entrepreneurs must take precautions to ensure they protect the integrity of their business. This is managing business risk by ensuring due diligence in their everyday commercial activities.
Due diligence can be considered an umbrella term for many different activities. 5 key elements of due diligence include: legal, financial, background checks, business intelligence, protecting intellectual property, and public registry searches.
Predominantly, due diligence involves collecting information to understand and assess risk within a company. This protects the company from legal and other issues, and allows its owner to make informed decisions.
- Legal due diligence
Legal due diligence often primarily relates to company acquisition, and is considered an essential aspect of the mergers and acquisitions process. An executive or investor looking to acquire an existing business may not necessarily be fully aware of that business’ ‘compliance picture,’ or any other potential legal risks.
Understanding the compliance status and other conditions of the business through comprehensive due diligence informs the potential buyer of any risks they may be taking on in the process of acquiring the business.
- Financial due diligence
Financial due diligence involves scrutinizing tax payments, projected cash flow, transactions and projections, and reviewing and auditing financial statements.
Ultimately, this due diligence builds a picture of the company’s future performance.
- Background checks
Companies should conduct thorough background checks on potential employees – especially those at senior and executive levels – as part of their due diligence strategy.
Background checks can be made up of a number of different elements, and the company should set the criteria of the check based on their needs for the role. Background check criteria could be based on:
- the seniority of the position
- specialist credentials or qualifications required for the role
- sensitivity of the information the individual may need to handle in the role.
If a company is hiring for a position that deals with sensitive company information, background checks are a must. Background checks can comprise of a review of:
- education and other qualifications or credentials
- previous employment as shown on the person’s resume
- criminal record history
- credit history
- vehicle and license records.
Make informed decisions about your next hire with thorough background check due diligence.
Company policies should reflect their process for conducting background checks in order to appropriately inform current or prospective employees.
- Business intelligence
Business intelligence is a crucial part of due diligence, as it enables executives to make better decisions about the direction and goals of the company using data.
Business intelligence looks different for different companies and industries, and there are many tools companies can use to pull the most insightful data together to support their decision-making.
Often, companies will use a number of applications and other technologies to collect, integrate, and analyze information. The model of practice of their information gathering should fit with their business needs. Smaller or medium-sized companies may choose to engage with third parties to undertake business intelligence practices on their behalf, as this activity can sometimes require large expenses in order to invest in data-gathering technologies.
This kind of due diligence requires careful planning, gathering and presentation of business information to understand where the business is succeeding, failing, and where there is room for improvement.
- Intellectual property protection
It is imperative for businesses to obtain intellectual property (IP) protection as soon as they can. This can come in the form of trademarks, copyrights, patents, and the registration of their commercial name.
All companies have a brand that represents their essence and that builds credibility with customers through its story. Though trademark and other IP registration is not mandatory when expanding to a new market, it is very important for protecting the development of the brand.
Obtaining formal IP protection ensures exclusive legal right to the commercial use of distinctive signs, slogans, inventions, business models, and other unique elements of a company. Failure to obtain IP protection for those crucial elements creates significant and unnecessary reputational risk for a company, as those elements are therefore free for third parties to use for their own commercial gain. This dilutes your brand development and credibility, and can confuse consumers who eventually may lose trust in your products and/or services.
Trademark, patent and other registration requires businesses to first be aware of existing IP protections registered by other companies. This research is crucial to understanding that your own ideas, inventions and designs are unique.
Many countries administer these protections through a centralized intellectual or industrial property institution. The process often involves publishing your pending application in the media or an official gazette to give third parties the right to submit comments or objections.
Finally, obtaining a trademark, patent or other kind of IP protection also requires regular management. As an owner of registered intellectual property, it is in your best interest to continue researching new pending applications in order to ensure no third parties are registering similar concepts, designs, inventions or models to yours.
IP protection is a key part of due diligence activity as it protects the reputation, credibility, and profitability of a business.
What other risk management measures can businesses take when expanding?
Due diligence is a broad area and managing business risk can require additional action outside of the 5 elements mentioned above. For example, business expanding into new markets could consider hiring their staff abroad through a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). A PEO can support companies with the hiring and management of staff in another country. They will also ensure the company complies with all local labor regulations. They achieve this through what is called a ‘co-employment model,’ acting as the Employer of Record for a staff member in the eyes of the local government.
Consider your needs as a business, and what your potential weak points may be. If necessary, engage with an experienced third-party provider or consultant who can ensure your company’s risk management strategy is robust and sustainable for a long-term expansion.
Staff training crucial for SME recovery post-COVID
- 47% of UK’s top performing SMEs provide regular, formalised training for all staff
- Despite this, 15% of small businesses report to never training staff
- New findings come as part of an independent, holistic study into small business success, commissioned by Allica Bank to support British businesses
A new study, commissioned by business bank, Allica Bank, shows that the practice of regular training correlates strongly with high performance in SMEs and will be vital to businesses’ prospects of a swift recovery post-COVID. The study analysed data from over 1,000 companies and ranked their success on a scale that evaluated factors including productivity, growth, consistency and outlook.
Post-pandemic, many businesses will be focussing on day-to-day survival; it might be easy to forget long-term planning, of which staff training is a key component. Allica Bank’s findings indicate that small businesses should incorporate training programmes into their recovery strategy to ensure long-term viability. Training will improve morale, retention and boost the company’s credibility.
The study showed that routine staff training is a common characteristic among the most successful SMEs. 47% of the 100 highest scorers on the SME Performance Index provided training for employees at least on a quarterly basis. However, nearly half of all small businesses (46%) only provide training once a year or less, inadvertently hindering their growth and success prospects.
Frequency of training also differed across sectors. 34% of legal businesses provide training for staff once a month compared to just 6% in the hospitality and leisure sector. Whilst there will always be sector-specific disparities, firms in all industries can benefit from boosting and improving their training programmes.
Chris Weller, Chief Commercial Officer, Allica Bank, said:
“With so many concerns and barriers for small businesses to navigate in the immediate term, it can be difficult for managers to focus on the training and development of their teams. However, if COVID has taught us anything, it is that adaptability and resilience are invaluable.
“The provision of regular training not only builds these characteristics into teams but serves to maintain a sense of value and togetherness that will boost morale, aide retention and improve performance – all of which contribute to the ongoing success of a business.”
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to training, but it’s vital for business longevity that staff are supported with a formalised programme of some description. Customers will respond well to a company whose employees demonstrate enthusiasm and competence. Employees also need to feel that their skills are constantly being improved and expanding. These skills will contribute to the success of a company and this will feed through to the bottom line.”
Allica Bank’s SME Guide to Success identified six ‘rules to success’ that were more likely to be displayed by top-performing SMEs compared to their counterparts. The full report contains a wealth of additional data and insight into each of these topics.
As part of its mission to empower small businesses, Allica Bank is making the findings freely available and running a series of free online workshops with relevant partner organisations for businesses to attend.
Aliya Vigor-Robertson, CEO, JourneyHR, the expert partner for Allica Bank’s training workshop, adds:
“Staff need direction and the knowledge that they are advancing in their career to stay motivated and engaged at work. An unmotivated, disengaged team is no recipe for long-term success and will ultimately hamper a business. Team members that lack tangible support from above are less likely to identify with their role and its duties, which is a completely natural reaction.
“Regular staff training is a key component of tangible support and will make the team feel secure in their career development. A happy team with purpose and direction will contribute to a thriving business”
What Is Globalization
What is globalization? Globalization, or inter-connectedness, is the ever-growing process of integration and interaction among countries, individuals, businesses, and even governments all over the world. Globalization has rapidly accelerated in recent years because of advances in communication and transportation technology. This allows us to be able to get from one country to another quickly and easily. This also allows us to communicate freely use the Internet to connect with our friends and families around the world.
So what is globalization and why is it important? Globalization will benefit many people around the world who are looking to travel more freely, save money on their monthly expenditure, be able to meet new friends and relatives from different parts of the world, learn more about a new culture, and take part in trade and commerce.
Globalization will benefit all of us because there will be more opportunities for everyone to participate in global markets. People in different countries have access to resources, information, and products they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford. There are also many opportunities for people to work at home.
Globalization is not just an economic boon, but it can also benefit all of us in other ways. As globalization continues, the boundaries between individuals, states, and countries will become less porous. There will be fewer political conflicts in the world, less violence, and a greater sense of cooperation, tolerance, and peace. These are all positive impacts of globalization.
However, globalization has also created some negative effects as well. It has caused people from one country to move to another to take advantage of globalization. This is also leading to some negative consequences such as a reduction of jobs in some countries. The effects of globalization also include increased competition and unemployment in many countries. Due to this decrease in jobs, wages are dropping.
The only way we can stop globalization is to make sure that we know what it is and what its benefits are. We must understand globalization and its impact on our lives and make sure we are ready to accept the changes that it may bring. if it is inevitable in the future.
The key is to be educated about globalization. There are plenty of books, websites, and television shows that explain how globalization is impacting us and the rest of the world. Globalization is not always bad, but we must be careful not to lose sight of its positives.
In the end, globalization is here to stay, so we must learn to live with it and embrace its benefits. We cannot fight it and try to fight it off, but we must learn to deal with it. And we can do that by educating ourselves. Globalization is here to stay for the long term but we must learn to adapt to it and learn how to live with it.
Globalization can be beneficial for all of us, but it has also caused many problems in the past. There were many cases of unfair trade practices and there was the rise of unfair labor practices. Some people argue that globalization has also reduced the pay of most Americans. So while globalization is definitely not all bad, we should understand that the benefits of globalization are not unlimited. and that we must be willing to give it some limitations and accept some sacrifices.
The biggest benefit of globalization is the ability for all of us to communicate with each other easily. The ability to connect with other people across borders makes it possible to share ideas, information, and knowledge. Since we can communicate with each other, the chances of getting a good price for our goods or services goes up dramatically. and it also allows us to save money by buying in bulk. This also translates to more savings on our end.
As mentioned earlier, globalization has brought about a change in the way people work and live because people are no longer tied down by jobs. They now have the freedom to travel and do what they enjoy.
As globalization continues, there will always be some people who are unhappy with globalization and are afraid to open their eyes to new opportunities that are available to them. But that is okay; this is part of the process of globalization.
What Is Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is an application and web-based collaboration tool that combines chat, videos, online collaboration, document storage, and collaboration with other applications. The service integrates well with the Microsoft Office 365 business solution and features numerous extensions that can integrate well with other non-Microsoft products, like SharePoint. There are many different versions of Microsoft Teams but here are some of the basic functions that all versions offer.
Teams also offers a variety of options for people to create and customize their own groups. This feature provides a way for people to organize their teams within Microsoft Teams. For example, there may be teams for business projects and then another group for personal tasks or social tasks. There are also different types of teams which include teams for social, personal and business.
Microsoft Teams allows users to make lists of files and documents and view them from different perspectives such as in the document viewer or from another Microsoft Teams project. This feature is called “project pane”, and it shows a summary of each of the files in the project. There are also sections for all files in the project that you can see in the “Files” pane.
Microsoft Teams gives users the ability to share information and collaborate on these shared items. A user can create a document that has other people add comments or attach files and then save the document to a list so that other people can view the document in a Microsoft Teams document viewer.
Another feature of Teams is the ability for you to invite other team members to work with you. A user can join a team and then invite other team members to collaborate with the team members who join the team. You can also invite team members to join a new team. When a team member joins a new team, they will be automatically added to your existing teams and the teams will merge together.
Microsoft Teams provides a number of different ways for you to collaborate with others and see the files and documents of others. These include groups and threads in the main document viewer. You can search your files using the search box in the document viewer and you can share your documents with others by email.
Microsoft Teams provides users with a variety of different tools to help you organize and manage your teams. You can assign members to specific teams, assign permissions to members, create custom groups, organize tasks and events, and organize files and documents into groups.
Microsoft Teams can help you build a team and create a collaboration culture that you want to create at your organization. You can use this tool to build effective teams and increase productivity and improve your relationships within the organization. Microsoft Teams offers a variety of options to help you get started and become more productive quickly and easily.
Teams are created easily. If you have several departments within your organization and need to create a team for each department you can do this easily. Teams are made easy and you can get your teams up and running quickly.
One of the best features of Microsoft Teams is the ability to invite people from around the world and let them work with the same documents and projects. You can have the documents and projects organized and shared in the same way throughout the entire organization, regardless of what country they were created in. You can create a similar project in the same language that they were created in and share it with other employees in the organization.
One of the most amazing features of Microsoft Teams is the ability to have multiple team members edit and view the documents and files in the same way. With Microsoft Teams you can have a document and have people edit the same document at the same time without any problems. The changes that you make can also be seen by other team members and can be modified by them without ever needing to send the document again.
Microsoft Teams is the perfect tool for building a powerful and effective collaboration culture. You can share documents and files in the same way that the rest of the organization can view the information.
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