Want to crack the US Market? Advice From the Experts

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Thinking about expanding across the pond? ‘Cracking America’ may well be a dream for many startups, but for some it is a very present reality.

Taking the plunge and expanding in US markets takes a very different approach, mindset and strategy. We speak to experts about what it takes to raise venture capital and funding from US investors, and ensure you have the right approach before you make that move.

Daniel Glazer is an American technology lawyer, strategic business advisor, and the founding partner of Silicon Valley-headquartered Wilson Sonsini’s London office and US Expansion Group. Aaron Ross is the Co-CEO of Predictable Revenue™ Inc, helping to ensure success in building an outbound prospecting program that creates sales growth. They’re joined by our Co-Founder and CEO, Paul Fifield for the session.

During our ‘In This Together’ live broadcast, Daniel, Aaron and Paul share their thoughts on the best approach when thinking of scaling into US markets. Expanding across the pond to the United States is something that some businesses think about at some point in their growth journey, usually when they have hit £1 million turnover or more.

The US is one of the biggest markets in the world, with a lot of consumers who want to try new things — a vast opportunity for many businesses.

So what should you be thinking about in the early stages?

  • You can start to get traction in the US before you go by researching the market. If you have some team over there already, then that’s great.

What about raising capital with US investors?

Pre COVID-19, there was a myth that it was easy to raise a seed round from America. In 2018 and 2019, there were 2800 funded businesses. 52 of these already had some kind of base in America.

Generally speaking with seed and series A funding, US expansion comes first, then seed funding, not the other way around.

With the arrival of COVID-19, raising seed capital has changed somewhat. Since the pandemic, more investors feel comfortable investing remotely. Seed rounds can happen online — it’s not completely common, but it’s starting to happen.

Remember, it’s always best to have some US traction rather than none when thinking about raising capital.

Does there need to be a radical change in the British entrepreneurial mindset?

It’s all about shifting the traditional British to sales and marketing, making it feel more positive and appealing.

Treat sales and marketing revenue like a product, with the same metrics. You need a predictable lead generation income, a sales process to close them, and the ability to invest the time.

In terms of mindset, think about:

  • Defining what success in America looks like. Is it just a foothold in America, or do you want to be a market leader in the States?

How do you level the playing field between your home country and US market?

In terms of organisational culture, the office of the CEO is very highly regarded in America as a role in comparison to the UK, so keep that in mind.

Share options is another factor that is very different between UK and US employees. It’s very common to have a 20% pool for share options over in the States. In the UK and Europe, there aren’t many individuals that get wealthy from share options.

These are just two different approaches to business — one isn’t better than the other.

Level the playing field by:

  • Using American spelling in all of your documents.

What about the legalities of expansion in the US?

There’s no need to create a US company until you have US employees.

  • If you’re a LTD company, you set up a Delaware C-Corp subsidiary fully owned by the UK parent.

Thank you to Dan, Aaron and Paul for the excellent advice.

For more expert top tips, join us on Thursday 22 October 2020 for the inaugural event of The Masters Series — Our new events programme showcasing best in class speakers in industry that aims to inspire, educate and help you grow your business. Join us for ‘Seven Secrets to Scaling Success — From Zero — $1b in Sales at Tableau’ here.

Originally published at http://www.salesimpactacademy.co.uk on September 29, 2020.

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