For a European startup, breaking into the U.S. market is an exciting chance to realize exponential financial growth and heightened credibility. The U.S. market gives overseas businesses a new base of customers that are ever-consuming new and innovative products and services.
In today’s highly competitive marketplace, it takes so much more than just a good product or idea to become a successful business. Like any other growing thing, all businesses have life cycles, and there are many factors that impact a young company’s growth. Uncovering a business problem that’s worth solving is the first step. Is your big idea already out there? Carefully researching your target market and competition and ensuring there’s a product-market fit is a non-negotiable. Do your homework to establish how badly people really need your product and how saturated the market is before you start setting goals for growth. Once the company’s viability has been validated through consistent traction, focus can be shifted to create process efficiencies and optimize marketing strategies in order to properly scale up and expand.
For example, based on our market research my company believes there is an expanding market for soccer in the U.S. Although the United States continues to gain momentum in fan base and popularity, it’s no secret that Europe dominates the sport on a global level. As an entrepreneur servicing this industry and looking to scale internationally, it was glaringly clear that making the move from the Netherlands to the U.S. was a no-brainer. The market was ripe with opportunity to expand the sport’s visibility on a massive scale, and we already had a proven growth strategy utilizing digital media to appeal to a diverse customer base with engaging and relatable content. Preparing to become a global player by opening offices in the two largest U.S. markets, New York and Los Angeles, was the next step.
Here are four global business strategy tips to implement when making a successful business leap to the U.S.:
1) Look for Win-Win Relationships
Understanding your competitors and developing a strong business strategy that fits the marketplace are key factors to success. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Building reciprocal relationships with entrepreneurs who have extensive experience in international business expansion will prove immeasurable. Proactively connect with people to talk about how you can help each other. Do your own extensive research to examine your industry’s market size, competition, revenues and pricing strategy. Then compare go-to-market strategies with business peers who’ve lived through the loopholes of going global.
2) Timing is Everything
Avoid shooting yourself in the foot by jumping the gun. If you haven’t made it as a market leader in your home country, it’s likely you won’t have the necessary financial resources and social network to make it in the U.S. Align your launch with industry events that will offer greater opportunities for you to network and plug into your market’s community to boost your recognition. Analyze the many factors that are impacting socio economic conditions before pulling the trigger. The global pandemic of COVID-19 is an obvious example of a population facing unprecedented emotional and financial hardship, but staying on top of other factors that impede the consumer’s ability and willingness to engage with your product will help direct the right-timing for your move.
3) Expand Your Reach Through Digital Media
In today’s digital world, the value of visibility is priceless. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Even more importantly, it’s who knows you. Digital media is expanding brand visibility and driving consumer activity in ways we never dreamed possible. With the right platform, content, and influencers, you can quickly attract millions of subscriber members and billions of views, causing revenues to skyrocket. Make the effort to create engaging content that’s relatable and relevant to a global audience.
4) Be Patient
Although capitalizing on social and digital media undoubtedly drives much faster business growth, regardless of where your start-up falls in the stages of business development, exponential returns don’t happen overnight. Resist the temptation to cut corners and jump ahead. Lifecycles exist for a reason; each stage needs to play out fully in its own due time.