60-second start-up:Trade in France

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

Helping Anglophone companies gain access to the 60m+ French consumer market.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

It's me, a laptop, a mobile phone and a mouth that works in French and English.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

There are two or three similar companies but in a business such as this it is all about 'fit' between people and relationships.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Track record, experience and energy for the task combined with attention to detail and knowledge of pitfalls.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

Literally on a wing and a prayer. One good client to start with and the rest building slowly.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

Selling geothermal heating systems to French construction companies.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

My first client gave me the idea. A personal friend started using me for some market investigation work and it took off from there.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Getting an office out of the home. It costs money, but pays dividends, especially during school holidays.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Not getting a purchase order number before helping out on an urgent project.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

A McVities Digestive - unwavering even after a good dunking.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

I actually had the idea for the self-hire bikes in cities about 15 years ago and never did anything about it so I am jealous that someone else gave it a go.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Here, just cracking on. There maybe a few more of us by then.

For more information on Trade in France, click here

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