European tech CEOs often think that expanding business to foreign markets should mean first entering UK or Germany, or Sweden. The U.S., however, presents a more strategic opportunity, for the longer term and for the ultimate scale. It is, after all, the single largest B2B tech market in the world.
Unlike what old-time business managers lead us to believe, bringing your business to North America does not have to be a complicated and high-risk process. The good news is this: Today you CAN jump right to North American market to short cut your path to scale – if you do it right.
Here at Takehill, after observing multiple B2B Tech company market-entry attempts over the years, we have finally achieved clarity of mind on this topic, and can deliver this great announcement:
It only takes 3 critical factors to succeed in the U.S. market entry.
The number one misstep for European teams seems to be, that if they have already succeeded in their home country, they think that the same success formula also applies to USA. Unfortunately, for 9 times out of 10, this cookie cutter strategy will not work.
Instead, to successfully enter the US market, CEOs need to re-evaluate all the business fundamentals. Because the environment is different. Customer buying behavior is different. Competition, regulations, channel vs. direct, customer’s business processes – they all have little U.S. nuances that eventually may become the showstoppers.
With that, here are the TOP 3 time-tested, critical success factors for the U.S. market-entry. No different really from the list when starting a B2B business anywhere else - but that exactly is the point - these are the fundamentals to re-visit, after landing on the new continent and basically starting from square one. Yes, this may sound like the same-old-by-the-book, but seriously - miss these 3 fundamentals at your peril. This is how the successful B2B tech company looks like, when opening its U.S. office:
Antti Korhonen is the Founder of Takehill Partners LLC, a Boston based consulting firm. He has helped several European companies entering the US market, and as CEO has built two successful B2B Technology companies with global operations between Silicon Valley, Washington DC, Boston and Helsinki. He lives in Concord, MA, and after spending 12 years in USA he is a dual citizen of USA and Finland.