Thoughts from Latitude59 panel discussion “Startup growth and going global”.
The new market penetration can be divided into three stages: INTRO, BASICS, and STRUCTURED.
The basic reminders (to avoid burning money) for your new market penetration are as follows:
- Choose your target country well – not several countries at the same time
- Visit all your target areas (e.g not just the Silicon Valley, but also NY, Boston etc)
- Get to know your partners, customers and potential employees
- Choose the stars (they attract stars) as first employees – founders are 100x more valuable then you think of
- If you hire a future CEO, it’s better if he has done something similar reliably before (see step 3)
- Do a good background study – Americans are often overselling themselves, research various former partners
- Spend a lot of time with first employees! Couple of weeks side by side, then daily calls etc.
- Be sure you motivate your key people well!
- Assure that the first employees completely copy your vision and culture.
- Stay close to customers. If you have an unique value proposition to end users, keep the sales channel in-house – learn directly from customers (not from TC networking events, but end customers)
- Founder should do the first sale, only then you can scale up
- Make sure you get good advice on setting up international structure, pay that 5-10K to decent consultants