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Formalizi has digitized the legal formalities for setting up a business

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For this new episode of our podcast, I had the pleasure of welcoming Pascal Asselin, CEO of Formalizi. His company, launched in 2019, allows entrepreneurs to settle their legal formalities entirely online.

Summary

The key marketing idea

Formalizi’s SEO efforts allowed the company to take off. The publication of one blog post per day as soon as the company was launched allowed new customers’ acquisition. While partners brought 80% of customers in 2019, Formalizi’s organic SEO will enable it to directly recruit 70% of its customers.

Therefore, the conclusion is that inbound marketing, and in particular blog publications, are an effective way to reach customers. However, it is still necessary to be disciplined to guarantee the frequency of publication.



genèse de l'idée entrepreneuriale

crédits : Shutterstock

Chapter 1: The genesis of the business idea

As is often the case in business creation, the initial idea comes from a problem encountered by its founder. In this case, Pascal Asselin wanted to “set up his company” after his research but realized that he had not been trained in the steps to be taken. This obstacle course was the spark at the origin of Formalizi.

Formalizi’s valued proposition

  • Digitalization of legal formalities necessary in the life of the company (creation, modifications, closing)
  • Related services to simplify the contractor’s life

France, having already digitized the formalities for the creation of a company, Pascal had the idea to solve the “pain point” of company creators by combining in one place all the necessary steps to launch a legal structure.

As Pascal explains very clearly in the podcast, he combined his will to launch his company and resolve his frustrations.


Creating a company that would also solve a problem that I had, and creating the offer that I would have liked to have had when I started my business, is something that pleased me.


validation de l'idée entrepreneuriale

crédits : Shutterstock

Chapter 2: validating the business idea

In this type of activity (B2B), it is challenging to use classic marketing techniques such as polling. Pascal set out to detect signals from intermediaries, that is to say, all the professionals who serve the interests of business creators and who themselves felt the need to have a single interlocutor who could manage all the administrative aspects. And these people, who enabled him to confirm his idea, brought him 80% of his clients when Formalizi started up.


I was fortunate to have access to a network of potential partners who are start-ups, lawyers, or accountants and who had this need for their clients to carry out these legal formalities.


The lesson here is that there are opportunities for those who know how to solve others’ frustrations and problems. Therefore, it is essential to listen to these frustrations to detect entrepreneurial opportunities. If these problems exist, however, there is a reason for them. So, don’t expect to find simple solutions to issues that affect many people. The more widespread the problem, the less comfortable the answer will be (but the more interesting the prospects will be).

The first customers resulting from the market research

An interesting point of Pascal Asselin’s experience is that he found his first clients directly from the network of people who helped him confirm the idea behind Formalizi. This part of the podcast is exciting to listen to and shows how vital the market research contacts can be.


démarrage de la startup

crédits : Shutterstock

Chapter 3: Getting started

Formalizi’s successful start illustrates all the advantages of good market research. Thanks to the contacts established upstream. Pascal was able to develop a solution that exactly met the needs of the people he had interviewed. Therefore, the solution had been co-created, which improved the initial idea (this is step 2 of our market research methodology).

These contacts provided 80% of Formalizi’s customers during the first months of the company’s existence. Thanks to this direct customer input, Pascal was able to be profitable from the very beginning. Suppose it may seem paradoxical that professionals immediately trust and send customers to a company that has just started. In that case, we should not forget that Pascal had already gained his interlocutors’ trust upstream. Therefore, the market research acted as a catalyst to convince them of the seriousness of the approach.

Use market research as a business springboard

Don’t think of market research as a school exercise. Use it to improve your idea and establish a relationship of trust with your interlocutors. If you don’t disappoint them, they are sure to become your first customers.


phase de décollage de l'entreprise

crédits : Shutterstock

Chapter 4: Take off

Le décollage de Formalizi est expliqué par Pascal Asselin comme une conséquence directe de son référencement naturel. Très tôt il a investi dans l’inbound marketing avec de bien positionner ses services dans les moteurs de recherche et cela a payé. Aujourd’hui 70% du chiffre d’affaires est réalisé grâce à la génération de leads sur les moteurs de recherche.


Two years ago, we could hardly believe it, and then today, when we see the result, we tell ourselves that it was worth it to publish these articles every day.


This case study shows that investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy that pays off. It is undoubtedly a long-term process, but it is essential to seek the growth of the activity. Today Pascal has surrounded himself with a team of 4 editors who publish 1 blog post per day (on average 700 to 1000 words).

Formalizi’s SEO practices

Pascal Asselin is not stingy with SEO advice. In this podcast, he shares some of his recipes:

  • frequency of publication: 1 article per day
  • articles of 700 to 1000 words, with one-time articles of 2000 words
  • Produce items well in advance to keep stock on hand.
  • item planning: this is an idea that is rarely implemented but has a powerful effect. Planning your articles can improve their distribution, mostly through better coordination.
  • Test and don’t be afraid to fail: a golden piece of advice from Pascal that shows that even the best can produce content that will have little success.

le futur de la startup

crédits : Shutterstock

Chapter 5: The future

First of all, the future of Formalizi revolves around the provision of new services for clients, including a subscription formula that will allow clients to benefit from long-term legal follow-up. On this subject, I reminded you in the podcast that the legal and juridical aspects (think about the PESTEL analysis) are often a stumbling block in a company’s life. It is therefore essential to follow these aspects closely and not to let the risks materialize.

Pascal is also preparing a B Corp certification and is seriously thinking about replicating his business model in other countries.

crédits : Shutterstock

A podcast to help you develop your start-up

In 2020 we changed the format of our podcasts. The aim is to help you develop your start-up by providing you with relevant information on specific topics.

Our podcasts are now divided into chapters of +/- 3 minutes. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific theme or development phase. You can therefore listen to the entire podcast or choose to listen to only part of it by directly selecting the part that interests you the most.

 

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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