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The 5 Factors that Will Determine the Success of Australian Businesses in the USA

Trena shares with us 5 gems you need when taking their product to the USA

Many Australian businesses have global ambitions from day one. That’s because foreign markets like the US provide almost unlimited opportunities to get your product or service in front of a massive base of potential customers and partners.

While it’s true there are incredible opportunities up for grabs in the US, Australian businesses must understand the factors that can make or break your success in this unique market. 

When people think about the differences between Australia and the US, they often about it from the perspective of a tourist. They know there are differences in culture, language, politics, sport – even tipping practices. But few truly understand how that translates into day-to-day business. 

Despite the large pool of customers, it can actually be much harder to sell your products in the States. The market is competitive and crowded and can easily swallow up unprepared founders. 

Here are 5 important factors that will determine whether you sink or swim in the US:  

1. You have access to local market knowledge: You think you know the US market, but unless you have insight and support from experts with an intimate understanding of how things work, you’re going to run into trouble. If you want to succeed in the US, make sure you seek advice from people who know the market well. Even well-intentioned advisors and mentors can accidentally steer founders into rough waters if they don’t have the necessary on-the-ground experience. 

2. You set a realistic budget: Founders looking to enter a foreign market know the importance of planning ahead but it’s also important to set and work within a realistic expansion budget. Assume your plans will always be more expensive than expected to execute. Be conservative and think about the details. You’d be surprised to find out how many founders forget to consider the impact of foreign currency exchanges. 

3.    You understand your potential customers and investors: In a crowded market, you need to make sure your message is well-targeted, whether you’re selling to customers and partners or pitching an investor. Profile your targets and make sure you know them inside and out. For customers, that means understanding their motivations, needs and the right messages and channels to use. For VCs, you need to understand the industries they invest in, what kind of investment they offer and what they need to hear from you. 

4.    You’re willing to hustle: There’s a revolving door in large US organisations – they’re constantly approached and sought after by potential new providers and partners. You and your business need to stand out from the crowd. Be memorable by following up and hustling for their business. In fact, follow-up shamelessly. It’s not always comfortable for Australian founders but it’s expected in the US. It could mean the difference between getting their signature or walking away empty-handed.

5.    You have a long-term plan: US organisations want to work with foreign businesses who are committed to the market. Make sure you’re prepared to discuss how you plan to continue growing there and expect to be questioned about it. If you don’t have a plan beyond ‘fly in, fly out’, you will likely lose their interest and potentially miss out on valuable opportunities. 

US businesses are often eager to work with Australian companies and professionals. We’re seen as innovative and they admire our work ethic, sense of humour, and yes, our accent. But it’s more important than ever that local businesses and founders understand what global organisations need from them – and then do what they can to meet those needs. Only then can you fast-track and de-risk your international expansion.

For more information about how to improve your success in the US, check out her latest programs.

Trena Blair is Founder/CEO of FD Global Connections who works with Australian companies to prepare for, and launch in the USA market. Enquiries can be made at enquiry@fdglobal.com.au

(Ivan’s note :- be sure to have a plan to maximise any grants and incentives that you may be eligible for – such as the export market development grant as administered by AUSTRADE – up to 150k per year – speak to the team at BSI Innovation – happy to refer you) 

Posted on February 21, 2019

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