The opportunity is big, but there are a few things to note about entering North America that will save you time and money...
Your timing is good ⌚
Good news! The US is a huge market with significant growth, improving economic performance and new, lower corporate tax. It’s recently taken the top spot in the A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Index yet again, and while the government rhetoric may be polarising politically, it is providing significant benefit to American business.
There are a lot of cultures 🤔
America is really a collection of many individual markets, each with their own laws, regulations, complexities and cultures. Don’t be fooled by the fact the UK and US broadly use the same language – the culture is very different.
Sales can be different 💲
It’s the role of Sales to ensure the buyer understands the messaging, which arguably is a contrast to the UK where the buyer is responsible for understanding the messaging.
It’s a little litigious 👨⚖️
The clichés are true, and often there are entities actively pushing and suggesting litigation occurs. Unlike in the UK, there’s no loser pays principle. For a UK business entering the US common areas to watch for are Employment, IP & Discrimination laws.
You need a US entity 🏢
There are many reasons why having a US entity is advantageous, not only can it protect your assets and make employment simpler, but you also will find it more tax efficient and enable easier access to funding.
Recruitment is tough 🕴
Hiring in the US can be especially hard when you’re first entering. The best avenue to recruitment is personal networks or recommendations, and there are shortcuts around attending particular events to help this, but in all likelihood you’ll need to use agencies at some point in your growth. Keep in mind they charge 18-25% of full salary, always check the small print, and make sure you can get a refund if the person doesn’t work out within 3-6 months.
Networking is important 🤝
There are thousands of events to network and get support from your peers. Spend time researching which ones are good to attend and you’ll be thankful of the friendly contacts down the line. For example, if you’re focusing on growth then check out The Sales Enterprise Forum.
Location is key 📍
The office location and where you’re registered can be two different states, and each one needs considering depending on your needs. It’ll impact your tax and employment law. Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming are the most commonly used states for business registration – Delaware being the most popular. It has friendly laws for businesses and more protection than most states.
Partnerships are also key 👫
One of the quickest ways to grow in the US is via partnerships with other businesses. Investigate companies that share clients with you, establish how you can assist them, and work together to grow each other. This is one of the most successful approaches to US growth for companies entering the market.
You’ll need a guide 📒
There's huge value in the US for your business but it can be an expensive venture. Thankfully there are many organisations setup to help you make the most of the opportunity, so find the right guide to extracting the most value for your business.
There's a lot more to consider but the above is a good starting point, if you'd like to chat more about how we've helped businesses develop in America then contact us! 📞
Finally, there's some useful frameworks to look at when thinking about expanding overseas. Check out the CAGE Distance Framework and LoNGPESTLE as two good examples!
Want more help planning your entry into the US?
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