Entering the US market is an opportunity that offers growth and increased credibility. However, as with entering any market, it requires a lot of diligent research and careful planning to succeed. Once you’ve successfully entered the market and gained consumer trust, there are many rewards. Here are some tips that can make your entry into the US market smooth and successful:
Research, research, research
Rule number one is to do your homework. Know your product and know what you’re getting yourself into. Even if you’ve worked in European countries that might seem similar to the US, each country is unique and requires its own strategy. The US is definitely a unique market that requires ample research.
According to Christophe Garnier, Managing Director of Spark Labs, a US expansion platform for tech and media companies, the reasons why companies fail in the US are threefold. “One, they don’t do their homework. Two, they don’t understand their market and their competitors. And three, they don’t have a good market strategy and how to sell to American customers,” said Garnier.
Be aware of things like the market size and competition. It is highly recommended that companies entering the US market do extensive research on how competitors interact with the market, their financial situation, their pricing strategy, and their customer and marketing strategy. The best way to look at setting up shop in the US is to do research as if you were starting a new company in the country.
Getting advice and support can be a game changer. Don’t try to enter the market alone with help and support. It can be stressful and overwhelming. There are many great resources that companies can take advantage of that make the process more bearable.
Bernhard Kerres, founder and CEO of an online platform for classical music Hello Stage, says, “Most European countries have incubators in Silicon Valley. Touch base with them immediately because they’ll help provide you with things like a network, a desk and some money.”
If you have the financial resources, then consider getting an American advisor on board, who understands the market and has connections. While Silicon Valley might seem like a daunting place, it can be very open. There are shared office spaces and many networking opportunities that can push you in the right direction.
Get in when the time is right
Timing is everything. When considering entering the US market, make sure your company is ready to make that move. “A lot of companies start thinking very early on about moving into the U.S., but I would recommend they wait to start thinking about it when they have a model that is validated in their home country,” says Garnier.
Also, take into consideration important events that might boost your recognition when making the move into the US market. For instance, if there are important conferences related to your industry happening in a certain month, then that would be a fruitful time to present your product or service to the market.
-Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5WPR