Tech firm expansion in the current U.S. market holds immense opportunity for those that are willing to approach it with an open mind. At Kettering, we offer a clear-eyed vision of how to effectively launch and where to restructure expectations to avoid potential pitfalls. When helping clients map market expansion, we bring vetted business development and personalized architecture to the forefront.
It is important to understand your unique value propositions in each of your markets, current and proposed, and how they differ. Embracing these differentials allows you to see how to position yourself to thrive in a new U.S. market as you have at home. Read on to learn more about how to do just that.
The Truth About U.S. Market Expansion
It’s not uncommon for successful CEOs to make multiple attempts to break into the U.S. market with little to no success. Many clients approach Kettering for solutions with a few unsuccessful U.S. ventures behind them. Now that we’ve said the uncomfortable truth, we can start to work at getting underneath why this occurs and how you can change your perspective so it doesn’t sabotage your expansion.
When you first take the reins of a company, you have an expansive vision and an engaged outlook. You are reading the numbers, observing team interactions, and scanning this new terrain with hopeful yet vigilant eyes. This is the approach that has led you to successfully scale your business in your home market, and possibly a secondary U.K., European or Asian market.
With your sights now set on a U.S. presence, it’s tempting to make decisions based on the similarities you’ve noted between, say, the Australian and U.K. markets, but your previous experiences cannot be assumed for the U.S. market. In fact, this is what causes many failed launches. Instead of seeing expansion as another office, leadership would benefit from viewing the U.S. market as an entirely new endeavor with new perspectives. This is a necessary attitude for a successful U.S. market expansion, but unfortunately, many CEOs don’t have it.
Getting the Right Information
CEOs and founders aren’t always primed to provide the support needed for a successful U.S. expansion. If the only lens you see your market data through is from your home market’s best practices and communications — it’s not enough. You cannot assume that the messaging will translate the same value proposition in a new market. The wiser view doesn’t take anything for granted, and instead will leverage expert insight and market analysis for ways to be aligned with the new target market.
This is especially true for optimal conversion in the U.S. market. Even genuine market opportunities can’t be interpreted as a guarantee that your U.S. endeavors will meet with success. For example, the U.S. tech enterprise market is keen on new solutions, but hesitant to sign contracts with firms that don’t have an established foothold on American soil. One might think all the chatter translates to sales, but it doesn’t – not without the right value proposition.
Creating The Right Deployment Team
A CEO may adopt an “outsourcing mindset” to handle U.S. expansion and appoint a sales director — but putting that person out into the new market and expecting them to sell without the proper support won’t work. The key is understanding why it won’t work (and we say this from hearing countless stories of it failing).
Let’s back our perspective out a bit: If you had a serious service problem in your home, would you sign the contract for repairs with the guy who has a great sales pitch, but all of his workers are two time zones away — or would you sign with the informed expert who works internationally and has a home office right around the corner and can recommend a good coffee shop to boot?
It’s not that different for U.S. market expansion. Hiring a sales director to gather a wealth of initial sales, with no backing and no clear support framework, is setting your team up for failure. It takes tremendous effort to break into a new market. This effort is wasted if your contacts are not developed into sustainable customer relationships because sales overtures were made without the proper infrastructure to see them through.
That’s where Kettering can help: Proactively managing expectations with the comfort of in-house market knowledge and same time-zone scheduling makes a tremendous difference in trust building and client management. You can offer cutting-edge global solutions with the warmth of local support when you work with Kettering.
The Kettering Advantage
Kettering provides this much-needed strategic infrastructure for set-to-sail market expansion. Our own network of U.S.-based resources fortifies and builds on companies’ initial lighthouse clients, setting them up for success through the waters of expansion. We work with clients to create a performance framework to give each business a better chance of success. We look for cracks in the foundation, home-market assumptions of sales, and more to make certain you are clear on your value, so your soon-to-be U.S. clients are, too.
Don’t wait, and don’t guess. Contact Kettering International for more information. In our next article, we’ll explore how to strategically overcome hurdles associated with U.S. market entry.