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Doing business in Europe

Beeldmerk van VMCIExpanding in Europe

US company expanding in Europe - common approach

The regular approach is to ask one or more search firms to recruit a certain number of staff in the major countries, combined with either assigning a number of US or home country executives / managers on a 12 months period to start up or expand the European business or hire a European-based senior executive to manage this process. All of the above could work, but...

The history has proven that:

  • In general the chosen approach is not scalable and not sustainable, both from an organizational development perspective as well as from a staff level, staff mix and compensation perspective.
  • If retention is considered it is mostly a US-based approach and focused on retention through equity based compensation schemes.
  • A large number of operational and tactical questions need to be addressed and answered to build a scalable and sustainable European operation. 
  • Senior management in Europe and at Corporate level do need to be able to bounce ideas and team-up regarding HR related issues.
  • In some situations in Europe an indirect sales or multi channel sales approach could be more effective than a direct sales approach.


A senior level European-based and Europe knowledgable executive as sparring partner for US management is their a key asset in these type of processes. Ideally this person is already involved in the company, alternatively a Board assignment or interim assignment is a logical alternative.

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