3 Tips for expanding to/from the USA

(Updated version of an earlier post.)

In the economic downturn, many companies look longingly at the Far East, Europe, South America, etc. for expansion. They think they may find new sources of revenue and balance out the ups and downs of single countries.

Having once lead sales and marketing for a UK search marketing firm (a light that’s green) that struggled and failed in the USA several times, I’m uniquely qualified to talk about this. The reasons for their continued failures are a lack of planning and preparation.

The essential thing to realize is that international expansion takes military planning and precision.

To hire a local rep and expect him or her to succeed is like air-dropping a single soldier armed with a knife on Normandy Beach.  That is not what the Allies did in World War II. They planned the D-Day invasion extensively.

Here are 3 tips you can use.

  1. Study the area, go visit and network.
    Get a feel for the market. Spend some time there.
    You need to commission a study of the market — to develop ideal customer profiles, buyer personas and crank up lead generation activity — particularly, thought leadership, long before you staff up.  You need to invest here because you can save by having only a single rep to follow-up on sales opportunities.
  2. Plan for a long battle — much longer than you expect.
    Give at least six months of air cover (lead generation) before you begin staffing up. Don’t plan on closing business for at least a year.
  3. Invest in good communication
    It’s critical.  Make sure you have the best video conferencing equipment you can afford.  Keep in constant communications.

In an earlier post, I told the story of an Israeli company that successfully expanded to the USA.

Of course if you’d like to discuss your company’s international expansion plans, please call (516) 284-4930 or send an email to jogden at findnewcustomers.net.

You need a Chief Content Officer.

Check out our Thought Leadership Interview series.

Join us every Thursday at 8pm ET/5pm PT for Twitter chat about b2b demand generation. Just go to http://tweetchat.com/ and enter hashtag #b2bchat.

Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor, is President of Find New CustomersLead Generation Made Simple.” He’s also the author of two highly acclaimed white papers, How to Find New Customers and Definitive Guide to Making Quota, as well the ebook, Prospect Driven Marketing (and he’s about to start on his third white paper) and holds a BBA in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame.

Find New Customers helps business develop and implement programs to improve the way they find and acquire new customers using best practices in lead generation.

2 Responses to “3 Tips for expanding to/from the USA”

  1. 1 Elliot Ross March 17, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    May I add one more point -

    Many businesses that have tried to expand outside of the United States had difficulty and increased re-branding costs to get ‘America(n’) out of the name.

    America Online springs to mind. They had to re-brand as AOL Canada for the Canadian market - deprecating the ‘America’ part.

    If one day you plan to globalize, maybe choose that name now.

    If you already have that type of name, don’t be surprised if you find resistance and excess re-branding costs


  2. 2 Video Conferencing Freeware May 5, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Nice Post. I am a computer engineer and I am working in a consulting management firm. Video conferencing equipments are highly preferred in our office as we have frequent meetings with our clients and personnel in other locations. I will be looking forward for more updates.

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