Let’s step back.
In the end, we all end up with a distributed team. No one these days can get to 500 or 1,000 employees from one location. Well, almost no one. Especially in SaaS, most of us can’t even get to 80-100 employees without starting to having a distributed team.
Generally, at a minimum:
- We all need more cost-effective locations to scale SMB sales.
- We all need field sales locations closer to big end customers.
- We all end up with multiple engineering teams as we scale, often in other countries.
- We all end up with customer success (which needs to be close to customers) and customer support (which is very cost sensitive), scaled not just in multiple locations, but globally.
Even by $5m in ARR, I had teams in Israel, Vietnam and London, and sales reps in 3 states. Small teams, but teams there.
The real question is how quickly you get there.
The downside is communication, especially. It’s hard to communicate with an office 10 hours away, and even harder to maintain culture and learning by osmosis.
Small teams, working a few feet from each other, learn by osmosis. You can put off systems, processes, knowledge transfer, and a lot of other hard, fairly un-fun stuff you need to do to scale.
But if you have the DNA to make it work early, it’s a super power. It can much cheaper, and much faster, to scale in multiple geographies.
If it’s not you, don’t do it for now unless you have to. But if you’ve done it before, that’s an asset. Try to do it again.