Updated: May 21, 2021
While it might seem daunting to expand across the Atlantic to the United States - it offers the promise of massive commercial opportunities and plentiful capital - perhaps the great exit even - but doing business and raising money in an unfamiliar, highly competitive environment requires thoughtful advance planning and effective execution.
weGrow hosted a webinar to provide more insights and knowledge on how to successfully grow and expand to the U.S.. Guiding us through these topics, were expert speakers Jorn Poldermans (Senior Economic Officer NYC) and Pieter Aarts (Chief Strategy Officer at Bi4 Group).
The webinar covered:
🚀 recommendations on how to be successful in the US
👥 understanding the US business culture
🤝 successfully exiting
Here is your checklist to prepare for take-off!
Plan a 1 year runway Have a thorough total portfolio where you can share your roadmap, your plans, how you are funded and how you will deal with clients. This will increase visibility and investor interests. Furthermore, investors and partners will support a company which shows that they are ready to stay long-term and committed to expand - you should be ready to become an American company! Having a U.S. investor is worth a lot, they will bring more U.S. clients and a high seal of approval.
Set up U.S. entity Your company should be ready to move to the U.S. - this will create more visibility and reliability. The local presence is essential, and companies with U.S. entity and boots on the ground have higher revenue, than those who do not. You need to have the budget and resources to support local team - but it is an investment worth the growth! It is not just about moving to the U.S., but also where within the country. There are strategic cities which will be beneficial for your start-up. Think of factors such as airport connections, time difference with Europe, industry specific and investor support. Main hubs are: NYC, Boston, San Francisco.
Do a legal and financial deep-dive Don't underestimate the local and federal regulations which are prevalent in the U.S.. An American lawyer is highly recommended to set up all the legal paperwork and making sure your company is being protected. Local experts will have more insights and can facilitate your growth. These actors include: tax accountant, immigration specialist, outsource HR specialist etc...
Jump on board with the American business mindset Culture within the U.S. can vary between states and industries, so be aware of these differences and learn the language, vocabulary and mannerisms. Do your homework! American business mindset is fast-paced, so European founders need to adapt to the quick thinking and action plans. The landscape is also very competitive - need to “kill the competition” and stay on top. Do this by flaunting your company's assets, attracting top talent (but also making sure they are protected), and having spot on and accurate competitive analysis.
Networking is very important Americans have networking on top of mind. If you are an active networker, and constantly growing your network by engaging with people - this will allow you more access and set you out from the crowd. Make sure you value proposition is clear, that you bring value to the interaction and that you reach out constantly. This will bring fruitful relationships! There are many pathways to keep a good network; use your local consulate, global service providers, mentor introductions, online events etc...
Exiting It is important to have a good and trustworthy banker and to rely on your network. Make sure that you your data room, legalities and financials are all up to date. Exiting takes a lot of time; so don't forget to stay focused on your business and keep it afloat in the process.
👉 Contact us for more insights and information to expand to the U.S. and Canada!