Few French start-ups dare to launch themselves in the United States. This is now the case for Little big connection, which helps large companies to manage their purchases and their relations with their suppliers, while putting them in contact with freelancers and small consulting firms, who can support them for assignments.
Created in 2013 by Julien clouet, the start-up is already present in 16 countries, including Canada, Egypt, India and Australia. ” We will first deploy our solutions in the United States for customers who request them. », Explains the founder. These include the automotive supplier Faurecia, luxury brands, including Chanel, and the BioMérieux laboratory.
” We will operate from Montreal first [où l’entreprise a un bureau], before going in a more massive way », Continues Julien Clouet. Secondly, the company plans to open offices in New York and develop its platform to meet the expectations of American customers. The new CEO, Constance Nevoret, who joined Little Big Connection last year, will be based in Paris.
“ For a French start-up, getting started in the United States is a great challenge », Comments Eric Morand, director of the Tech department at Business France, enumerating the« pitfalls »that companies encounter in the American market. To break into this market, “ do not hesitate to to question oneself completely “, According to this expert.
This may require, for example, to use local service providers for marketing campaigns or to recruiting firms to select collaborators. ” French companies often tend to internalize everything “, Which is not always suitable for the American market, he comments.
When it comes to recruiting, appearances are sometimes deceptive. ” Americans sometimes tend to oversell, where the French under-sell themselves. Going through a recruiting firm costs money, but it can be saved a lot “By avoiding hiring an unsuitable profile, continues Eric Morand. Support is essential ” even if the person we recruit has a great CV “.
Little Big Connection hope open an office in New York in January 2022. To train employees who will drive growth in the United States, the company has created a “ international mentoring and entrepreneurship program ”Which will be based in Montreal, details Julien Clouet. “ The goal is to train managers over six months, giving them the keys to open an office ” abroad.
According to Eric Morand, one of the conditions for success in the United States issend someone from the management team, who can quickly take the necessary decisions. ” There are often decisions to be made on the evolution of the product to stick with the local market », He explains. ” A founder can do it, but not necessarily a salesperson “.
In the case of Little Big Connection, Léanne Bonhomme, regional director for North America, will lead the opening of the New York office. The company has already had adapt to face the constraints of other markets. ” In India, for example, there is a lot of disambiguation, explains Julien Clouet. It is therefore not enough to identify freelancers by their name and first name, we have developed the platform so that they can give the number of the identity card. “.
In the United States, the company will undoubtedly have to question itself in order to face the competition. American companies, like SAP Ariba, already offer software to manage relationships with suppliers, while others, including UpWork or Fiverr, link freelancers and businesses. ” By combining the two, we make the user experience much smoother », Explains Julien Clouet. All that remains is to convince American companies of this.