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How Europe’s top scale-ups maximise growth by minimising admin

Access to talent
Compliance & Contractor Classification
Global Hiring
Global Payroll
CXC Global6 min read
CXC GlobalJune 17, 2024
CXC Global

The transition from start-up to scale-up is a strange period for a company. Exciting, yes — but also incredibly labour-intensive and stressful for the people who work there. 

First, you need to ensure you can maintain the quality and consistency of your products and services, even as your operations scale. The last thing you want is to disappoint your hard-won customers and service users. 

At the same time, you need to make sure you have the team you need to continue to drive growth in your business — and that means a lot of hiring. The definition of a scale-up is a company that’s rapidly growing its headcount, and that takes a lot of work.  

And of course, your whole endeavour might fall flat on its face if you don’t have the right processes, policies and procedures in place to see your company through its next stage of existence. That means that scaling up a company also requires a huge overhaul of the tools and systems you use — right when you least have time for it. 

Plus, there are also legal and compliance issues to be concerned with — especially if you’re expanding overseas. But, when your internal team is already overstretched, giving these the time and attention they deserve can be difficult. 

You get the idea. And if you’re currently in the process of expanding your European start-up, you don’t need us to tell you that scaling a company fast is challenging. 

So, let’s talk about solutions instead: in this article, we’ll explore how a company like CXC could help your scale-up to maximise growth while minimising admin and banishing compliance woes. 

Ready? Let’s jump in.  

The challenges of rapid expansion 

Rapidly expanding a company comes with a whole host of challenges — here are some of the main ones to be aware of: 

Avoiding admin overload 

There’s no denying it… expanding a business involves a lot of paperwork. If you want to hire a new employee, that process starts with writing a job description — which is no mean feat when the job in question doesn’t exist yet. Then, you’ll start the long process of sourcing, assessing, shortlisting and selecting candidates — and your job has only just begun. 

Once you find the right person for the role, you’ll have to set them up with a locally compliant employment contract. Onboard them, and give them access to the right training materials so they can hit the ground running. You’ll also have to give your new employee access to all of the tools, systems and software programmes they’ll need to do their job — and that’s just in the first week. 

And of course, scaling a company isn’t just about hiring new employees. There’s a whole world of other admin tasks involved, including: 

  • Finding and setting up new office spaces 
  • Negotiating with new suppliers and partners 
  • Reorganising departments to meet business goals 
  • Communicating changes to your existing team 
  • Rethinking your tooling and digital infrastructure

You get the idea — managing a scaling company involves a lot of admin. Quickly scaling companies need to find ways of managing this huge burden, even as their business grows. 

Ensuring compliance 

Expanding your business overseas can bring huge new opportunities to a business. You’ll be able to expose your products and services to new markets, and get access to a wider talent pool too. 

But it’s also a compliance minefield — and companies that don’t give this issue enough attention can easily get burned with fines, penalties and legal fees. Here are just a few of the compliance hurdles you’ll have to look out for as you expand your business overseas: 

  • Employee misclassification: Companies misclassifying workers as independent contractors when they’re really employees is taken very seriously by many governments in Europe — even if you don’t do it on purpose. But the laws around who counts as an employer are different in each country, and it’s easy for quickly expanding companies to get it wrong. 
  • Labour laws: Each country has its own rules and regulations that define the rights employees are entitled to and what you can and can’t do as an employer. If you’re expanding into a market you’re not familiar with, it doesn’t take much to slip up — which can have severe consequences for your business. 
  • Tax compliance: Businesses generally need to pay payroll taxes, sales taxes and sometimes even real estate taxes in the countries they operate in. Ignorance of your obligations is no excuse — but if you’re operating across several jurisdictions, things can quickly get complicated. 
  • Permanent establishment: Having a stable presence in a country could be enough to justify ‘permanent establishment’ — and land you with a sizable corporate tax bill. Scale-ups expanding overseas need to understand their obligations, and how they can avoid permanent establishment if possible. 
  • Data security: The EU has strict rules on how companies handle customer and employee data, set out in the GDPR. But even with the best intentions, things can easily get messy as companies outgrow their existing systems. 

Battling talent shortages 

People are the crucial ingredient in any expansion project. After all, you need to ensure you have the right talent in place to drive growth, develop and expand your core business offering and market it to new audiences. 

But here’s the problem: many industries are experiencing talent shortages in 2024, and certain key tech roles in particular are becoming harder and harder to fill. Plus, even when talent is available, you may not know where to find it in an unfamiliar market.

The other issue is that, when you’re rapidly building your workforce, it can be hard to scale your recruitment team at a fast enough pace to keep up with increasing demands. 

In this situation, many businesses turn to recruitment agencies to fill gaps — but this isn’t a perfect solution either. Working with multiple providers can quickly turn into a messy, decentralised and complex supply chain that no one really understands — and costs tend to spiral too. 

The secret weapon of Europe’s successful scale-ups 

So, how do Europe’s top scale-ups manage to successfully grow their headcounts while managing their operational and administrative needs and avoiding compliance pitfalls? 

Here’s the secret: they don’t. Or at least, not on their own. Because successful scale-ups understand that the key to maximising growth is minimising everything else — and that means partnering with a trusted provider of comprehensive workforce solutions. 

Here are some of the advantages of working with a partner like CXC as your company expands: 

  • Focus on growth, not paperwork: Want your team to be able to focus on driving revenue, improving your core offering, and maximising growth? Then you need to take at least some of the huge administrative load of expansion off their plate. At CXC, we can handle everything from payroll, HR and other admin tasks for you, so your people can focus on what they do best. 
  • No more compliance worries: Expanding your operations means navigating complex regulatory landscapes. Thankfully, we have 30+ years of experience, and we know what we’re doing. Through our employer of record (EoR) and agent of record (AoR) services, we can ensure every worker is correctly classified and engaged in compliance with local labour laws. 
  • The right people, in the right place: Sourcing the right talent can be challenging, time-consuming and expensive — but not with CXC. Our international reach and expertise in talent acquisition and recruitment means we can help you access top talent, wherever they are. Plus, once we’ve located the workers you need, we can seamlessly onboard, engage and pay them on your behalf too. 
  • Adaptable, flexible solutions: Scaling a company means being reactive to changes in the market and shifting your business goals and priorities as your needs change. At CXC, we understand that a rigid approach simply won’t work in a scale-up environment. That’s why we’ve designed all our solutions with built-in flexibility, and tailor them to our clients’ specific needs. 

Meet your expansion partner 

At CXC, we’ve been helping companies all over the world to source, engage, manage and pay workers for more than three decades. And we’re proud to be standing side-by-side with some of Europe’s top scale-ups as they navigate the challenges of global expansion. 

By partnering with CXC, you can stop losing sleep over compliance worries and get back hours in admin time — so you can focus on growing your business. We can help you to source the right people, in the right location, to drive your business forwards. And, we can compliantly engage, manage and pay those workers on your behalf too. 

We provide our services in more than 100 countries worldwide, and our team are experts in local and international laws and regulations. That means wherever your global expansion takes you, we’ll be there to support you in your journey. 

Want to find out more about how we could work together? Speak to a member of our team to get started.

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About CXC

At CXC, we want to help you grow your business with flexible, contingent talent. But we also understand that managing a contingent workforce can be complicated, costly and time-consuming. Through our MSP solution, we can help you to fulfil all of your contingent hiring needs, including temp employees, independent contractors and SOW workers. And if your needs change? No problem. Our flexible solution is designed to scale up and down to match our clients’ requirements.

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