Europe has become home to promising tech companies, thanks to its booming global startup scene. Organizations developing and selling cloud to mobile services, healthcare products, and more have been launched in the continent.
If you are interested in launching or growing your own startup in the EU, there are a few essential things that you can do to increase your chances of getting a positive outcome. Start with getting funding from the right sources and legal advice so you can get off on the right foot. Once the business is open for operations, stabilize it by using the right software, some of which you can even download and use for free. While you might want to look for free software to operate your startup, you should invest a bit more when it comes to promoting your business and products. The most crucial trick to help a startup grow, though, is to establish good relationships with your customers.
1. Get funding and support.
European startups can now benefit from the sudden increase in investor activity in the region, making it easier for entrepreneurs to find funding instead of traveling to the United States. For one, you might want to try crowdfunding. This is a popular method used by startups to raise money since it works and it helps to promote your products, too. There’s Capital Cell in Spain and the UK, Ulule in France, or Goteo in Spain, for instance.
Startups can also count on accelerators and incubators for help. Some great examples of these would be Techstars, Founder Institute, Startupbootcamp, and Rockstart.
Other ways to get funding and support for EU startups include syndicate funding, wherein angel investors get to syndicate deals with each other; equity crowdfunding, which works if you’re willing to give a part of your company to interested investors. P2P lending platforms, which grant loans to small and mid-sized companies at interest rates lower than those offered by banks; venture capital firms; and startup competitions.
2. Seek legal help.
Starting a business usually means dealing with legal processes, from incorporation to intellectual property issues, before you get recognized as an official business organization. Fortunately, you can get expert legal advice and support from several organizations. The IT IP Law Group Europe, for instance, helps companies dealing with issues involving property rights and IT law for minimal cost.
3. Save money using free software to manage your business.
For everything to be organized, you must ensure a smooth-running operation. Seeing as how you’re still trying to save money while gathering funds, you can use free software to run your startup. You should ensure that your product development is on track, in time with your scheduled launch date using a development tool.
In organizing projects and teams, there are plenty of online organizational tools you can try. These can help you monitor your teams’ performance, the progress of different projects, and which projects to prioritize based on deadlines.
Monitoring your employees’ attendance, for one, is also a way to monitor their performance and whether they deserve a spot in your team. You can do that by using any free employee time tracking tool. This is a better and money-saving option for a startup like yours, especially since one in two employees admitted to committing time theft, according to a TSheets survey in 2017. HR.com supported this study, showing that 43 percent of their employee respondents exaggerated their number of hours worked. Using this time monitoring software will help promote transparency at work, easy time capture, employee empowerment, and accuracy when dealing with deadlines.
4. Invest in marketing.
Promoting your business to a targeted market will get your product in front of the right people. It is also a key element in boosting a startup since it helps the new business establish its own identity, promise customers longevity, differentiate itself from its competitors, and build customer relationships and loyalty. If you want to spread your name, especially since you’re a newcomer, proper brand awareness campaigns should be launched. Otherwise, you’ll get drowned out in the noise created by the competition.
5. Engage with your potential customers.
If you have developed the product and have determined your target market, it’s time to get to work in getting to know your potential customers better. Talk to them, either through social media, surveys, and more. The more you’ll learn about them, the better you’ll be able to serve them.
So, which European countries should you launch your startup in? The UK is still the best market for startups, especially where funding is concerned. Over 30 percent of the European venture capitalists are from the UK. It is also where tech startups managed to raise £2.99 billion in 2017. But be warned. Workforce and production costs can be expensive.
Sweden is worth considering too, thanks to its reputation as the home country of startups like Spotify and Truecaller.
Germany is another funding heaven for startups, after having managed to raise more than €500 million in 2017. If you’re eyeing the country, consider Berlin and its mostly English-speaking residents, cultural diversity, welcoming infrastructure.
Spain takes pride in its tech, mobile, and e-commerce startups. It is also favored by new businesses because of its affordable lifestyle and highly educated workforce.
The Netherlands is where two of the top startup accelerators and incubators like Startupbootcamp and Rockstart are based, marking just how supportive the country is of startups.
Are you ready to launch your business in the EU? Consider the tips mentioned above and the European countries where new companies like yours will be welcomed and supported.