Today I'm pleased to introduce you to Sophie, my friend who built and grew On train, a training company.
Hi Sophie! Welcome to AboutStartup! Can you introduce yourself?
Sure, my name is Sophie, I'm 34 years old, and I'm a partner at On train. We are a team of three and we built a company that provides training on digital and tech-related jobs. Our courses are taught by experts currently working in tech companies like Spotify, Doctolib, and BlaBlaCar…
How was the company founded?
It was initially founded by one of the partners, Benoit. Then Guillaume joined after a year. They had worked together before, and I joined them in 2020 after I met them through a recruitment agency. They were looking for a Head of Sales to work with them, and potentially a third partner.
Is this your first company?
Yes, as a co-founder. But I worked for 7 years as an employee before (2 years in digital innovation consulting and 5 years at JobTeaser).
But it might not be the last!
What is your strategy for reaching customers?
We offer a training service and reach customers through our internal sales team and marketing efforts. Part of our clients come back to use our services again, so our goal is to reach them the first time and try to become a training partner.
Can you share some numbers?
We've had 100% growth every year and have trained over 10,000 people. We currently have 20 employees and a network of 1000 expert trainers.
Our customer satisfaction rating is 9.2/10.
What were the main challenges you faced on your entrepreneurial journey?
There were many:
- Being a new role (partner), at the beginning it was difficult as I had to adapt because I was new to it. For example, I don't have a boss, so I don't get feedback to improve.
- Sales. Getting the first clients without any references was difficult. Then, as we gained references and notoriety it became easier.
- As the company grew, we had to constantly upgrade our skills because the industry evolves every day. We also had to modify our activities from when we were three partners to twenty employees.
Whether we succeed or not, we learn a lot from entrepreneurship.
How can one become a trainer with your company?
Anyone who has expertise in data, product, tech, acquisition marketing, web3, etc., and wants to become a trainer can contact Guillaume Coulomb on LinkedIn. We will then organize a quick chat.
Do you offer training internationally?
Yes, some of our clients are international, so we provide both remote and on-site training.
What are your tips for people who want to create a startup too?
There is no magic recipe.
- Surround yourself with the right people, whether it's partners or advisors.
- Be resilient. You have to believe in your idea and be persistent.
- Be passionate because this kind of work can only be done if you don't see it as work: at the beginning, it's not remunerative and you won't have colleagues. Passion leads to expertise, and these two notions will make your business attractive to potential partners.
- Be focused and don't launch 10 different products or services at once. Test one idea at a time, be quick, and don't plan too far ahead in the beginning.
- I think it's good to have had prior work experience before starting your own business.
Final words, do you have a fun fact that happened to you?
It's not exactly a fun fact, but my passion for education comes from something that most people don't like, my parents are both teachers. Being in the world of education is close to my childhood.