Setting up your first office in a new market? Finding the right location and office space might be a challenge. But we’ve got you covered.
Drawing on our first-hand experience with international companies that established an office in Bulgaria, we’ve compiled a list of seven mistakes to avoid, while providing an inside look into Sofia’s thriving ecosystem.
1. Unfavorable business location
Companies that consider expanding to new markets know that choosing the right country plays a vital role in supporting their business goals. Therefore, it’s paramount to carefully assess the market’s advantages and limitations in relation to your company’s needs. Here’s a quick overview of a few things to consider:
Location & Time Zone
The right location and time zone are essential for your business operations.
Let’s take the example of Sofia, Bulgaria. Located within a 750M consumer market right in the middle of three continents, Sofia is near unsaturated emerging markets, and a part of the EU, NATO, and WTO. The country’s strategic location makes it a getaway to the rapidly growing markets of Russia, Turkey, the Middle East, and the CIS countries. Situated in the center transit between these regions, Sofia is only 1 to 3 hours flight duration to the biggest European tech hubs like Paris, London, and Amsterdam.
Moreover, the local time zone (Eastern European Time, UTC/GMT +3 summertime/ +2 wintertime hours) is favorable for doing business across continents with many global leaders setting up offices in Bulgaria. Some of them include VMware, Bosch, the World Bank, Uber, Progress, and many others.
The local ecosystem
As a company seeking to diversify its business, you should carefully research the local ecosystem. Sofia, for instance, has recently made the list of Europe’s best tech hubs and ranked as the top Digital Riser for Europe and North America.
Emerging as a leading startup, innovation, and R&D ecosystem, Bulgaria’s capital attracts international companies with favorable taxes (mere 10% flat corporate income tax) and a talented workforce, among other major advantages. Last but not least, the latest report from Invest Bulgaria Agency shows that the net flow of foreign direct investment in Bulgaria for the first 6 months of 2020 amounted to EUR 1.407 billion increasing by 53.2% as compared to the same period in 2019.
Campus X – Bulgaria’s ecosystem for great companies and talent
Considering Bulgaria as your company’s new home? Campus X is much more than a provider of flexible serviced offices. We’re an ecosystem, where we provide everything needed for success – a powerful community, easy access to top talent and capital, and a premier physical hub.
We have welcomed several big global companies, which managed to quickly set up offices in Bulgaria and seamlessly grow their teams. For example, the international business consulting and publicly-traded company Wipro joined our community along with the leading software company HashiCorp, and the revolutionary Dutch mobile bank bunq, which opened their first office in Sofia.
2. Poor digital infrastructure
Uninterrupted digital infrastructure and services keep businesses up and running, especially when it comes to the IT sector. When choosing your company’s new home, it’s essential to do a thorough check of the local digital infrastructure and Internet speed. Also, your office operator should be able to provide the necessary quality of IT services.
What’s the situation in Sofia, Bulgaria?
Bulgaria ranks 39th out of 221 countries in terms of Internet speed, according to the 2020’s Worldwide Broadband Speed League ranking, conducted by Cable.co.uk and M-Lab. Thus, Bulgaria is among the European countries at the top of the worldwide list when it comes to digital infrastructure and fast connection.
As far as electricity is concerned, Bulgaria’s power sector has a supply mix, including nuclear, hydro, thermal-based, and renewable energy generation. And the price of the service for industrial use is among the lowest in the EU, as Invest Sofia reports.
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