Don’t overlook these 8 key things when exploring the US market
Are you thinking of exploring the US market? Well, doubtless you’ll already know that it’s a big undertaking – even without knowing the minutiae of what it requires as a foreign business. However, to make it more straightforward, you should start by learning about the eight key things that shouldn’t be overlooked if you want your business to succeed in the States…
You may need to ‘tweak’ your brand or product
If you’re planning on simply ‘introducing’ your UK brand to an American audience, think again. It might be better to evolve your UK brand to suit the US market. Simply ‘introducing’ your existing brand is very different to adapting your brand to suit American customers, and could make all the difference between success and failure when you’re expanding your business internationally. Don’t overlook the fact there might be work to be done on this front.
It’s worth doing competitor analysis before you rush in
Whether you’re making moves to explore the US market or are simply just considering it at this stage, it’s well worth doing some competitor analysis. Find out who your rivals are across the Pond, what they’re offering, how their pricing compares to yours, and what advantages they may currently have over you. Then, think about what advantages you might have over them and which opportunities you could make the most of. This is an important stage that shouldn’t be missed when exploring the US market.
You shouldn’t just open a branch office of your existing company
If you’re confident there’s a demand for your product, and you’re sure that you can adapt it sufficiently to suit an American audience, don’t just open a branch office of your existing company. Doing so will expose your entire business (that is, the business beyond America) to liability and heavy taxation. Instead, consider the various alternative ways to establish a presence in the US market.
Having workers in the USA could really help while you’re exploring the US market
Another key thing you shouldn’t overlook is the value of having US employees. US employees will strengthen your presence in America, and will provide your US customers with a useful and trustworthy point of contact. This will position your business as one that’s a serious player in the American market and worth engaging with. Of course, getting to a stage where you’re legally able to hire employees in the US is a different matter altogether, but you can speed that all up by using our services at Foothold America. Get in touch if you want to know how we can secure US workers for you while you’re exploring the market.
Your US employees can offer invaluable feedback and advice
Another benefit of hiring US employees when you’re testing the market is that your workers will help you to understand the US market. Your US workers will not only know the American market, but they’ll know your business too, placing them in an ideal position to offer answers to questions such as “Why aren’t we succeeding in this state? What do you think we should do differently?”. Your US workers are credible advisors, so make the most of them.
Spending a month or two ‘on the ground’ will provide insight to the US market
Another thing you shouldn’t overlook is the option of spending a couple of months in America yourself. The USA is a huge country, and while there are certainly some similarities between doing business in the UK and America, there are some major differences too. The best way to understand the US market, cultural contrasts and other critical elements to expanding your business is to spend a few months living and working in America, if you’re able to.
Some US states are better to incorporate in than others
If you decide to make the leap towards establishing a permanent presence in the US by creating a subsidiary company, you’ll need to decide where your company headquarters should be. It’s important to ensure you’re incorporating in the best state for your business, so do some research to help determine where you should set up. These are the three most popular US states for foreign businesses incorporate in.
It’s advisable to hire an international tax advisor
Taxation in the USA can be a complicated affair, and it’s made all the more confusing if you’re planning on doing business in multiple states as well as the one you’re incorporating in. Therefore, you’d be wise to set a budget for an international tax advisor. These professionals are best placed to advise and assist you to ensure that you comply with the rules and regulations, can help you with tax planning and, crucially, can assist you to ensure you’re paying the correct amount of tax both in the USA and anywhere else you conduct business in the world.
Expanding to the US is going to be a daunting task for any business. But, armed with an awareness of these eight key things, it should feel a little more manageable. Why not contact us at Foothold America if you need information or support if you’re thinking of exploring the US market?