Go global, live well

Laptop on beachAn article in the Desert Sun – a Palm Springs, California paper – attracted my attention recently. Small Business Finds Profit Internationally is the story of one small US company that set up a European base by working remotely with an employee.

The article aims to show how easily a small company can set up physical offices in other parts of the world. More importantly, it shows how small businesses are realising how Internet media can enable them to think globally.

If we can employ staff at a distance, we can use the same technology to work with clients or customers anywhere in the world.

The beauty of small businesses is that they are perfectly poised to make the Internet work for them. Choose a niche product or service that can be shipped or supplied nationally or globally, and you’re in business. Leverage Internet options to market effectively online, and you’re likely to stay in business.
Boston Globe columnist, Penelope Trunk, recently enthused about the benefits of virtual companies: low overheads enable start-ups to get going faster, working online allows small businesses to compete on a level playing field, and the joys of working remotely are clear.

The Palm Springs employee decided to telecommute from Dublin and it worked. Now start imagining your ideal place to live …

How we do it
Measured in terms of number of employees, our business is small – very small. And yet I take great pride in describing PublicityShip as a national company. Because we are. Not only that but we also have the potential to ‘go global’ without setting up any physical offices.

Interesting though when my listener asks – so where are you based? This always throws me because, while it’s a natural question to ask, in virtual reality, it isn’t relevant.

Our geographical office is a place for Glenn, Julia, Shane and I to keep our computers so we don’t clutter up our houses. It’s where we get together to brainstorm and celebrate. But our journalists all have their own independent bases, and as far as clients go, all these physical locations are pretty much off the radar.

This is because we’re an online, or virtual, company – like so many other small businesses springing up all over the web. But being an online company doesn’t just mean having a website.
All our services are offered and conducted online or by phone conference – leading to time and cost savings that ultimately benefit our clients. This works particularly well for a service company like ours. But businesses selling physical products can have an online store with payment facilities. Even perishable produce can be frozen and transported – almost anything is possible.

So, where are we based? At the risk of sounding facetious, my answer is now simply: