Thursday, September 29, 2022

How entrepreneurs can prepare to enter the US market

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Global Director of Sales and Marketing at Joorney. Helping entrepreneurs and immigrants achieve their goals, one business document at a time.

Many efforts are made to attract foreign investors and entrepreneurs to the US, but not much is shared with them about how business is done here. Of course, business principles are similar in most parts of the world, but there are several nuances that are important to consider.

Personally experiencing the business environment in both Latin America and North America, I have noticed how business can differ from country to country. For starters, the diversity and size of the potential US market—and thus the need for market research and a robust marketing plan—may not be fully appreciated until you’re here. Due to this size, there are also many opportunities to scale and grow.

The pressure to succeed in the US is high, especially for immigrant entrepreneurs, who have often made huge investments and sacrifices to do business here. This extra motivation could be the reason why almost 45% of all Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children, according to a 2019 analysis by the Society for Human Resource Management. This is impressive, but many of these founders probably had to figure it out along the way.

So to ease the transition into the US business landscape, here’s my advice.

Call in help.

In an effort to save money, entrepreneurs often try to do as much as possible themselves. It’s not a bad strategy on paper, but in reality people often overestimate how much they can handle. You may consider outsourcing various tasks and activities to help you in the long run. Many business activities require in-depth knowledge of a particular subject, and you can hire specialists in marketing, IT, law, accounting, or other fields to handle those tasks. Doing so can be very beneficial to your business.

Obtain the correct permits and licenses.

There are many rules and regulations for business in America that is why you should research what kind of license and permits you need for your business. The type of license(s) depends on your business and the rules may differ depending on where your business is located, your industry and the type of business you have. There are state, federal, and local permits and licenses, and you will probably need a few. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to do your research and check what permits and licenses you need. Buy them all before opening your business in the US. Otherwise, your business could incur various fines ranging from fees and fines to business closure.

Prepare for scaling up.

America is a land of opportunity, which can often mean rapid growth for businesses. Many business activities take place here on a large scale and scaling your business can become unavoidable at some point, especially if you take opportunities and prepare for them properly. Avoiding scaling can be detrimental to businesses, but keep in mind that scaling too early can also be detrimental to a startup.

A good scaling success story comes from Zoom. After the pandemic hit, growth expanded rapidly. However, Zoom managed to keep pace by scaling the business well. The company’s engineers maintained the multiple data centers, all of which had to operate at 50% capacity. In the event that someone gets overwhelmed, it can easily refer them to another so that the operations run smoothly. Zoom managed to sustain rapid growth and profits when it could have easily collapsed under the pressure had it not been properly prepared.

A great tip for scaling your business is to use software that can help you manage projects, administration, logistics, scheduling, and a variety of other activities.

Find ways to reach your customers.

While working in Latin America I noticed that many companies rely on word of mouth as their main marketing strategy, but this probably won’t get you very far in the US. As I said before, everything here is happening on a larger scale, so growing a business requires reaching more customers, and planning a good marketing strategy is imperative.

Marketing strategies can be costly, which is why so many people choose to rely on their clients to spread the word about their business. This marketing plan can be very restrictive for your business as the number of customers you can reach this way will eventually stabilize. Developing a marketing strategy can grow your business whether you have a business-to-consumer or business-to-business model. Marketing strategies allow you to reach more customers and thereby increase sales.

Understand the market trends and company culture.

In addition, as an immigrant opening a business in the US, you should not only be aware of the corporate culture in the states, but also the market trends relevant to your business. Each region can have its own unique market and depending on whether your business is local, regional or national, your market research should focus on those areas.

The US is a huge country and the way people do business varies from place to place. In my experience, closing a deal is not the same on the East Coast, West Coast and the South. While some like to get straight to the point, others prefer a little small talk beforehand. To avoid unpleasant situations and get the best results from your business meetings, get to know the customs and know what people expect from you.

The biggest benefit of my advice is to be well prepared for opening a business in the US. There are many areas where the US market and business activities differ from other countries, and an understanding of all of these will help you exponentially. If you do good research and plan accordingly, whether it’s scaling, licensing or market research, you’re already taking a step in the right direction. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

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