What to Consider When Entering the U.S. Market
Is your company exploring the possibility of expanding to the United States? Many businesses across the globe are drawn to the U.S. for its expansive and profitable market, talent and innovation, access to capital investment, and much more.
The U.S. is home to some of the most brilliant minds, companies, and business connections in the world, with locations like the Northeast accounting for a significant portion of Fortune 500 companies. The potential to reach new customers, leverage resources, and diversify risk is unmatched, but expanding to the U.S. is not something to take lightly. There are several factors to consider and a great deal of planning to be done.
Here are some of the things you’ll need to investigate beforehand if you’re serious about taking your business to the United States.
Confirm Your Financial Viability
First, you need to ensure that your business is financially sound before entering into the U.S. market. Setting up in the U.S. might be more expensive than you initially thought, so you should analyze your company accounts, forecasts, and existing liabilities to make sure you’re able to take on the risks of expansion. Also, you need to consider the additional marketing and logistics expenses you will incur in your financial plan. If you lack sufficient capital, you can try to acquire additional funding. Here’s a few more things to consider when looking to break into business in the U.S.:
- Initial investment. Most importantly, you need the capital required to actually expand. Importing and exporting, distribution, taxes, and more all require money. There are also overhead expenses associated with expansion, including costs associated with additional facilities, technology, staffing, new equipment and your online presence.
- Personnel. To ensure your expansion is properly managed, it’s recommended that you retain a lawyer, a banker, and an accountant who specialize in cross-border transactions and can identify what your business needs to be aware of when expanding to the U.S..
- Additional Costs. More costs to factor into your expansion include overseas marketing, which could differ from marketing in your home country; shipping and storage; and travel for high-level executives.
- Funding. After you’ve done some initial planning, find out how to secure a business loan from a bank or lender, or pitch your expansion ideas to investors; anything you can gain financially will be extremely valuable.
- Potential Sales Revenue. When researching new markets, look at how receptive consumers are to your product or service. Having a clear idea of the potential ROI at stake can help determine how quickly you will recoup the costs of expansion over time.
Research New Markets
Always remember that customers determine the fate of your business. Have you thought about what your business can offer American consumers? Is there a gap in the market that you can tap into? Research the most appropriate market for your product or service and determine how you’re going to position yourself. Think about who you are targeting, what your sales plan is, and how you can gain competitive advantage. You may also find it helpful to learn the strategies of your competitors and understand what works (and doesn’t work) for them. Most likely, you will need to make adjustments to your marketing plan when moving your business overseas.
Understanding Another Culture
Businesses entering the U.S. must be able to navigate cultural differences. Many companies fail to succeed in new markets because they don’t do their homework or because they think the rest of the world should do business the way they do business. If you come from a culture that is similar to the U.S., you have a huge advantage. However, even if you’re confident in your launch strategy, you should still ask for help from the locals. The following tips will help you avoid making costly mistakes when expanding to the U.S.:
- Do your research. Learn a few important facts about the country; it shows that you respect the cultural heritage of your potential partners. Also, familiarize yourself with the basic business culture and vernacular in your new location.
- Build a relationship before discussing business. Before initiating any business venture, engage in an effort to and get to know each other on a personal level.
- Bring your own interpreter. Although potential partners may provide an interpreter, it’s still a good idea to bring your own, in order to protect your interests.
- Understand body language. Body language is not universal; take note of how your international counterparts interact with one another and with you.
- Respect dress codes. Regardless of who you are doing business with and where, dress with respect and authority in both professional and private settings.
Complete Legal Steps
Expanding your business to the U.S. is very similar to opening up a brand new business here. You’ll need to decide which type of business entity to establish, which agencies to register with, and which taxes apply to you. Many businesses choose to set up a subsidiary company, which can be a corporation or limited liability company (LLC). In order to successfully navigate this complicated process, you should consider hiring both a U.S. attorney and a tax consultant to ensure you’re doing everything in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations and are not paying more than you need to.
Finding a Foreign Distributor
If you can find a foreign distributor, a huge weight will be lifted off your shoulders. You can simply sell your products to them and let them decide how to resell them at a profit in their domestic markets. Distributors offer the highest quality service to foreign customers and will typically buy enough of your product to build up an inventory. When it comes to finding a distributor, you can start by researching trade groups, foreign chambers of commerce in the U.S., and branches of American chambers of commerce in your home country. The best choice will be a distributor with a track record of selling to companies or consumers in your target market. Before making a commitment, meet your prospects in person, and get and check references.
Consider Investing in US Employees
Having a U.S. employee or multiple employees working from your new location is invaluable to your business. Not only will you gain insider knowledge on how to operate the American market, but they will act as a trusted and accessible point of contact for your new customer base. The U.S. boasts a sustainable workforce with specialized expertise in a range of industries, so you can rest assured that your business will be in good hands. Hiring workers here will make expansion to the U.S. a smooth and successful transition.
Evaluate Geographical Factors
Regardless of what country you currently do business in, expanding to the U.S. will take some getting used to. The U.S. is a physically vast country with numerous time zones and geographical factors to assess when deciding where to move. Everything from airport accessibility to infrastructure, which may seem like minor details, will have an impact on your expansion. The state you choose will either make or break your business, so it’s crucial that you weigh the pros and cons of each prospective location ahead of time.
Expand Your Business in New Jersey
With a diverse population and a history of welcoming others from across the globe, New Jersey is open to international investment and welcomes companies of all sizes who are looking to expand in the United States. Many companies have already chosen New Jersey for its extremely attractive assets, including:
Perfect Northeast Location
- Daily nonstop flights to 340 domestic and 260 international destinations via Newark Liberty International (EWR) and other nearby airports
- Largest seaport on the East Coast
- Nearly 3,000 miles of interstates and highways
- 38 million consumers within a two-hour drive
- A national leader in education – #1 university in the U.S., #1 public school system, and #1 ranking for early childhood education
- 40% of our workforce graduates from college with a bachelor’s degree or higher
- The highest concentration of scientists and engineers per square mile in the U.S.
- Home to 225 foreign company headquarters
- #4 most diverse U.S. state
- Third-largest population of foreign-born residents in the nation
What Can Choose New Jersey Do For You?
At Choose New Jersey, we market New Jersey both domestically and internationally as the best place to do business in the United States. In order to assist your company in establishing operations here, our team will provide you with a variety of complimentary relocation and expansion services from site selection to financial assistance and workforce development. We are passionate about the opportunities New Jersey has to offer and will ensure that you have the necessary resources to get you started. Use the form below today to schedule an appointment with one of our business experts.
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