Think global, but stay local

Our world is shrinking. Thanks to technological and digital advancements, it is easy to work globally, with suppliers, customers and colleagues across all continents.

By Paul Dawson, Vican Connect.

Meetings don’t rely on geography, as everyone has a good internet connection. Plans, diagrams, drafts and product specs can be seen in an instant and actual deliveries can be same or next day. All this means the pace has picked up and our nets have got a lot wider.

But as we go more global, I wonder if some of us forget to think local?

I’m fortunate to head up a number of companies that are operating successfully throughout the UK and on an international level. They are all based in the same place - Burnley.

Coming from this area, having worked in this area and knowing all it has to offer, I think it genuinely has everything we need for our HQs. What is key for me then, is to support it and the wider area of Lancashire.

Lancashire boasts an excellent location, atmosphere, culture and community. Yes, it has quick links to the rest of the UK and has benefitted greatly from the success of surrounding areas - but Lancashire is an area steeped in good business heritage of its own.

By thinking local, you can ensure you retain a sense of community as you work. Supporting local charities and setting up business support groups is a great way to do this, along with attending networking events. Your local media is a great relationship to nurture as you grow: place advertising with them if your customer base will see it but if not, look into other ways to support the local media by helping in events they organise or donating to any charities they promote.

Knowing the importance of local support, I was one of the founding members of Burnley Bondholders, a collective of businesses that seek to support and encourage business development in the region and improve the reputation of the town and its surrounding areas. We know the issues facing startups and SMEs, and due to our combined knowledge of the area can greatly help others in the region. This type of support is invaluable to startups, regardless of their industry. Go as global as you like, but it will be those closest to home that will provide you with the personal support you need as your company grows.