Ten Reminders for Australian Entrepreneurs Looking at the US Market

by Viki Forrest, CEO ANZA Technology Network

Just read Philip Rogers’ highly informative piece in Australian Anthill about Aussie companies thinking about doing business in the US market.

A couple of quick takeaways apply:

  1. The US remains the largest developed market in the world and a big influence on other global markets. It remains important for any company with global ambitions.
  2. Innovative new models and technology have dramatically changed the cost of entering and developing the US market, you can now do some of the early market development work from Australia
  3. That’s right — you no longer need to hire a US-based sales manager to get your business off the ground.
  4. But — don’t make the mistake that your products or services are fully developed since they were successful in the home market. Changes will always be required to meet US customer needs.
  5. Go back to startup mode — entering the US needs to be seen as comparable to a startup, meaning that founders need to be closely involved. Hiring rainmakers and expecting them to succeed on their own is unlikely to be successful.
  6. Most value added resellers (VARs) or other distributors are good at selling mature products in mature categories. They are not very motivated by, or successful at, marketing innovative products and services that require the ability to create or disrupt markets.
  7. That’s why you’ll need to adopt some new strategies and techniques. The good news is inbound marketing strategies in particular are extremely affordable. Search engine optimization, web-based content (webinars, white papers, etc.) and social media strategies let you start building your brand well before anyone gets on a plane. Content that demonstrates expertise and innovative thinking is the new currency. Inbound marketing will attract early adopters and innovators who are looking for new ideas.
  8. As well, outbound marketing strategies like strategic targeting of prospects based on a defined ideal customer profile is another way to accelerate reach and growth. Outsourced demand generation or inside sales services mean that Australian companies can get access to the same US-based resources used by top US firms without taking on employees.
  9. Where I may disagree with this otherwise excellent advice is on the short visits to the US to make an in-person impact. Great idea during the first 6-12 months of your market entry strategy as you work through the top 8 points above, but after that, to quote Markus Weichselbaum, CEO of TheBroth, a successful ANZA Fast Track company, “You have to be here.”
  10. And, as always, the focus needs to be on your customers. Find your customers, make them happy and the rest will follow.

Now that I’ve paraphrased Philip’s piece to fall in line with what we talk about all the time at ANZA TechNet, please give his piece the full read it deserves. Click here.

One Response to Ten Reminders for Australian Entrepreneurs Looking at the US Market

  1. endeavouradvisory says:

    Glad you liked the article Viki.

    On the “you have to be here” point, I see Markus’ perspective given partnerships with US-based firms drive his revenue. For B2B company with long buying cycles and market creating solutions, the timing is likely to be different. Also, the amount of time in market would increase as the US business matures so it is more of an evolution to a full time presence.

    My main point is that there is a lot of ground work that you can do before hiring a US team. The goal is to set them up for success so they can get results fairly quickly. There is nothing worse than the blame game and second guessing that goes on when the losses mount and the results take too long coming.

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