Polyglot Group’s mission is to help companies optimise and expand their business internationally in any way possible. This includes bringing people together to exchange on their experience and share with others.
This promotes growth on both sides as well as growth for the economy. Bringing people together is easy. But really making a difference to how they do business and how they see their future on a global scale is another story. Yet we did just that by bringing together the Barcelona startup hub for our very own #Gate2Europe. Together with Mercurr, and powered by FrenchTech and the Caixa Forum, Polyglot Group was thrilled to host the second edition of the Startup internationalisation coaching event.
Held on Thursday the 22nd of September 2016, the event included 1 cultural exhibition, 3 workshops and 1 Big Talk. The event gathered major Startup Executives from the Barcelona ecosystem, such as Agile Sales & Marketing, Holaluz, Ecooltra, Force Manager, El Tenedor, Beabloo, Caixa Capital Risc, Numa, Red Inversores Business Angels IESE, Itnig, Toro, Quipu, Kantox, Oasis Collections, HotelsCombined and Asus among others.
What better way to get the ball rolling and have a moment to relax after a long day at work then by doing a cultural visit of an amazing museum exhibition? The Ming Dynasty cultural visit was the perfect way to break the ice and get attendees excited about the upcoming workshops. With the choice to learn from experts in Investment, Business Development and Human Resources, attendees were able to tackle the event’s theme “How to scale your startup in Europe?” in style.
With so many choices and so little time to take advantage of the startup workshop (three), we thought we would share our 7 best take away’s:
1. Choose the right investor
As much as some will choose to invest in your project, you also want to choose THEM back. An investment is a partnership which requires trust from both ends.
2. Hire a HR Manager early on
Don’t wait until you have 50 employees to hire a HR Manager. Build your team with them and make them into a partner. You might even need an internal recruiter.
3. Gather the right team
To build and develop your project, you will need a strong team for your investors to trust in the 5 to 10-year-plan and for you to make sure your project is in good hands.
4. Go step by step
You want to develop the business when the base is stable, the processes are structured and the strategy is in place. Be strong at home before you expand.
5. Never stop trying
Market research and consumer behaviour analysis are a must. Don’t forget to learn by doing while expanding, selling and growing.
6. Define HR’s role
Don’t think about growing just in term of numbers, think about organisational structure. Set a road map and determine the workflows as you go expanding without killing creativity and efficiency.
7. Open the silos
Talk, talk and talk with all departments as much as possible to get insights and improve transversal communication and synergies between departments, so the whole company grows as one.
With the workshops completed, the audience and speakers gathered for the event’s finale: the Big Talk. Opening with questions on how to best start the internationalisation process as well as the ideal check lists to follow, the speakers gave great tips and shared a bit of their history to illustrate their do’s and don’ts. Here is a highlight of their best tips to start internationalising:
- Whether you know it or not, you are already international: Whenever you’re launching a company, you might think that going global is a step you take further down the track. However, in a way, every company is global from the moment they open for business. Whether it’s technologically, digitally or through social media, globalisation is prominent which opens the market, and therefore, the possibility of development on a global scale.
- Start the process when you are already stable in your home country: It’s important to develop and secure processes before starting to replicate them abroad. With all the different challenges that come with dealing with another country, dealing with the establishment of processes first is a good way to anticipate a problem and align the company’s processes from the beginning.
- Choose where you go: With the help of market and consumer behaviour analyses, anticipate cultural adaptation. It is proven that the same language does not mean the same culture and therefore the same strategy. By doing your research and taking culture into account, you are able to choose the right partners to assist you which will open the market and broaden your opportunities.
- Choosing Your Team: How? When? With whom? Who will be able to lead the project locally? With what type of profiles? How to hire the right team is a fundamental question that you need to answer early on. Take the time to think about it and create a plan.
- Figure Out the Differences Early On to Avoid Problems later: What are the cultural differences, the opportunities and risks that come with this new market? Different context means different problematics, costs, political environments, administrative processes etc. Being aware of this is the best way of tackling it head on.
- Calculate Potential business volume and ROI: Finally, the cherry on the cake came in the form of a gorgeous cocktail function with modern takes on traditional Spanish foods. The networking session gathered people from Australia, Switzerland, Argentina, France, Canada, Lebanon, Spain, Morocco, Belgium, Italy among many others.
Over the course of the evening, we were thrilled to welcome around 100 people who were able to gather tips, ideas and do’s and don’ts to better scale their business in Europe. Polyglot Group was delighted to host the event and the team is eager to learn more from our future speakers. Stay tuned to get more information and consulting to better optimise and expand your business with Gate#3.