5 tips for SaaS Startups to enter the European market

I have been operating Software companies for over a decade. I have felt the joy and the struggle of growing Software Businesses. I have learned a lot from the struggle. A lot…😊

SaaS Startups need to figure out how to run their processes. They need to balance their ambitions against their cash flow. There is a constant pressure for short term results, while trying to focus on long term growth. Personally, the hardest part for me was doing ‘everything’. Hiring staff, put in place processes, deal with back-office, finance, customer happiness, etc.  Saas Startups are busy and they may feel there is only that much that can be done. At Growth Lensing we know Europe is an excellent market for SaaS startups. But from a USA based Founder perspective, it feels as a hurdle due to the chaotic fragmented countries, languages and cultures. So here are some tricks on how to get into Europe.

1. Don’t ignore the European painful privacy laws.

Do your homework on GDPR and your Terms and Conditions. Really.

2. Localize your story.

This is not too hard. Give European web visitors at least a choice of English, German and French language. It is a minimum effort and gives the brand a very international reputation.

3. You don’t need to worry about your R&D.

That level of investment, effort and roadmap remains as you planned. But you need in Marketing, Sales and Business Development an ‘owner’ that will carry the European Project forward. Find that owner, set goals and allocate funding and resources to attain those goals.

4. As a SaaS startups don’t go ‘all in’. Aim for traction first.

Europe is a labyrinth and you need to maneuver smartly through your learning curves. Make a plan that consist of web traffic increase, conversion to leads, follow up process, closing all the way to delivery. Analyze which countries are the low hanging fruit for your solution, at this moment in time. Grab what works at ‘home’, modify what needs modifying allowing it to work well with your European buyers.

5. Understand Europe. After the USA, the biggest and fastest growing market.

Go with a plan that matches your humble budget but allows scaling upon success. Use the traction for your funding strategy. Think big, have results and show Digital Marketing metrics to back it up.

Of course, Digital Marketing, targeting and lead conversion are critical. But you will be surprised how well some cold calling still works here in Europe. It all depends on your solution and the profile of the buyer. Find out how it all works here.

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