International Expansion is a challenge for startups.
We asked Eliott Reilhac, CEO of TVTY, to share his experience managing this critical development stage.
Why did you choose the UK as the first foreign country for TVTY?
After Paris, we opened an office in London and than one in New York City. The UK seemed to be the natural choice to expand TVTY as it is geographically close to France and has the biggest digital advertising market in Europe. Also, plenty of international advertising budgets are dealt from the UK. Lastly, it is a great first step before conquering the US market!
What were (/still are) the main challenges?
The main challenges were 1/ adapting our offering to a different market and 2/ recruiting. There is a learning phase of at least 6 months to understand how to position your product on a new market. For that, you need to have one founder very involved in meetings with local clients and partners. Regarding recruiting, it was a challenge to find the right head hunters and we had to try several.
Who helped you in going international (selection of the country/city, recruitment, legal aspects etc)?
The board members helped us defining the expansion strategy and gave us some first contacts. We also discussed with French entrepreneurs who already expanded to these countries in order to be introduced to the right partners, especially for accounting, legal aspects and recruiting.
Which main lessons did you learn when opening in your first country?
We learned that doing business in the UK or in the US is very different than in France. For example, in the US the default meeting lasts for 30 minutes. You have to go straight to the point and insist on the client benefit. In France, you have longer meetings and go more into technical details.