As many of you know from social media – last month I started a new position as the Chief Operating officer for Entrepreneur Community Online (ECO). This company is six months old and already has customers on five continents and in fourteen countries. Its evolution as a company is rapid, but its mission is clear:
To increase entrepreneurial companies’ online and offline value by connecting entrepreneurs to the resources they need.
ECO provides a platform for entrepreneurs to work together in social networking both online in social media and offline via events. CEO and Founder, Linda Hughes is passionate about helping entrepreneurs regardless of where they live and work. I have worked and volunteered with Linda before and feel that I know her very well. I have always found Linda to be conscientious, hardworking, passionate, honest, brilliant, and evolving her own knowledge at lightning speed. Joining her company was not a hard decision.
The decision to go international happened before I joined the company. Linda started calling me shortly after ECO’s site went live. There were questions about cross-cultural communications related to Israelis, Venezuelans, Chinese, and Indians. Sometimes there were negotiation differences and other times questions about what might be specifically important to a group of entrepreneurs. Most of the time, entrepreneurs in overseas markets were finding Linda through Twitter.
As a born-global company, I think it’s going very well. We are able to serve members in other markets, at least as long as entrepreneurs have access to social media tools and can converse in English. Now our membership base is geographically diverse and we ask ourselves some basic questions going forward:
- What markets should we actively pursue in order to maximize our membership base and the value we can deliver to entrepreneurs?
- How much localization is needed to serve new markets?
- How different is entrepreneurship in other markets?
These and other questions remain open for now. Stay tuned for future updates as this born-global firm continues to compete in international markets. If you’re interested in reading more about an insider’s perspective to a born-global company, you can follow my First Follower Blog on the ECO site: http://www.entrepreneurcommunityonline.com/blogs/becky-destigter