Ask Elena Nilga what's the secret to setting her startup up for scaling globally, and it's easy to see why Recommendme.online was accepted into the exclusive Collider.io accelerator in Amsterdam.
Everywhere in the world, small companies share this one big problem.
In the midst of the thousands if tasks involved in running a small business, you've got to get noticed by customers.
And for most, that means using Google Ads to drive sales. Usually, with the desired result of customers walking through the front door of your store.
That means Google Adwords is a must-do
But most small business owners don't have the time to become certified Google Adwords experts.
And the option of asking for help isn't going to work. Here's why:
There's an unspoken secret in the advertising outsourcing industry: Nobody cares about you.
Your small business doesn't have a big marketing budget. You've got no money for hiring outside help. Nobody wants you as a client.
So you're stuck with your best efforts and the constant, nagging feeling that you're somehow not doing something right. And at the end of the month, the fact that you must pay your Adwords invoice is the only thing that's certain in your Adwords world.
Enter Recommendme.online – a virtual assistant for small Google AdWords advertisers aimed to help them prevent budget drain, and get more clients with the same budget, by optimising Google Ads campaigns with automated recommendations.
OnGlobal Opinion: This CEO and her small team are set to scale because they address a big, meaningful problem shared by small businesses around the world. They are working on a problem that's the same for every business, from Belgium to Brazil.
Elena is not naive about the challenges of internationalization. "We've discussed translating our website into local languages. But even if we localize, we can't offer customer service and after sales support. There's no solution out there."
OnGlobal Opinion: We've heard this several times before. We're going to be investigating a possible solution for this problem. Sign up here to get advance notice of our recommended solutions.
Recommendme.online already accepts payments worldwide. They don't face any difficulties at the moment. Elena says maybe at the later stages they may face some issues.
OnGlobal Opinion: We see lots of smart CEOs like Elena make this assumption . Globally, payments are not always easy. For example, there may be issues around the authorization of credit cards from countries outside a specific geographic area. And, as the Dutch will gleefully tell you, they avoid credit cards. Even the most global of payment types have issues when they are asked to work outside their own country. Keep a global perspective on your payments stack.
Elena knows that culturally, Europe has different approaches to customer communication and expectations. Broadly speaking, Elena says that Northern Europeans have a lower need for customer communication channels, preferring a deep dive into their free trial and working on their own. Southern Europe shows less preferences for detailed deep dives, but wants to reach out with any communication.
For now, the pull for her product overcomes the barriers to translation. As CEO she's focusing on validating her MVP in her home, english-speaking European market before embracing country-specific differences a more thorough localization program would involve.
OnGlobal Opinion: Elena is being smart and skilled to start first in english. this stops her customers from tying up her small team & resources to satisfy a single country's localization requests.
Further, she's exemplifying best practices of very early stage companies by leaving some friction in the customer experience. This proves that the pull of the problem – and the local customer's desire for the solution – overcomes the limitation of not being able to see everything in a local language.
Recommendme.online is in many ways operating internationally. They are still pre-scale and are making first steps to growth of clients and onboarding them. They have a diverse multi-national team in the Netherlands and Eastern Europe. But most importantly, they have a global-sized problem solved by their product.
We'll be following up with Elena in the weeks to come and are expecting more smart moves coupled with a growing, global perspective that will set them up for success as they scale internationally.
Disclosure: We provided Elena Nilga, CEO of Recommendme.online with an advance copy of this article.
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