Things we have learned about running a business in France after one year!
Not an easy task
Here are some things we have learned after running a business in France after one year. The first thing we learned after deciding to start our own concierge business (after saying to each other; ”how hard can it be!?”), is that setting up a business in France is NOT an easy task. Even the French find it complicated. So we strongly recommend anyone who is thinking of starting their own SAS or SARL , to get a personal expert to manoeuvre all the tricky procedures and paperwork. It doesn’t have to be a headache and the money spent is well worth it!
It never hurts to ask!
If you think someone will be willing to help promote you or form a partnership, just ask. French and foreigners alike are willing to go that extra mile at least once. If you can mutually benefit each other, it could be the start of a long and profitable partnership.
Spell things out
subtle nuances that work in English do not necessarily translate to French
" Service minded” is maybe not the first thing that pops up in your head when you think of France and the French mentality. They have a lot to offer in this beautiful country, but service is still kind of an Achilles heel. So it has been a real pleasure for us to provide good service to a lot of clients and they truly appreciate healthy service mindedness. By providing a high level of service, the French have been quick to set us apart and distinguish us as a reliable foreign company. So to stand out, be proactive and have a service minded approach towards all clients, it has turned out to be the right formula!
Networking is key!
People love to chat, meet for a coffee and have “portes ouvertes” that they invite you to. Our advice, go to as many as time allows you to. Nothing is stronger than word of mouth and by putting a face to a business, you have more chance of being recommended than if you stay hidden.
Don’t be afraid to speak French in Public (or on the phone), the audience are usually more accepting of errors than you believe. French love to hear foreigners speak their language and all the minor mistakes are considered charming so go for it!
The French do like to experiment and are open to try new concepts and adventures at least once. What more, they love to talk and share their experiences so make sure that they have a good one! Remember you will only get one chance.