Getting people to notice your company in a noisy market is one of the most challenging obstacles you'll face as an entrepreneur. Persuading people to look your way takes both a knockout product and a dogged persistence of the bulldog variety. And while it's difficult for U.S. companies that are new to the scene to jump in on the game, international businesses have an even higher hurdle to overcome.
I had an opportunity to speak with several business owners from around the world about their own strategies for breaking into the competitive U.S. marketplace. Here's what they had to share with their American counterparts working toward the same goal:
Look forward, not back.
"As entrepreneurs, it's our job to see opportunities in new technologies and have a vision about where those advances can take us. The past isn't where innovation lives. Draw inspiration from it, believe in your vision and create the next thing for the future."
-- Lukas Posniak, Co-Founder of Viewlicity and inventor of PuttView, Hamburg, Germany
Save people time and offer solutions to everyday challenges.
"Consumers crave products that optimize their time and improve their lives. Entrepreneurs must further develop current technologies and new market niches that achieve these goals. Create an innovative product that effectively solves a problem or makes a daily decision easier, and you've set your business up for success."
-- Renan Serrano, CEO of Trendt, São Paulo, Brazil
Stay plugged into what's happening in your industry and beyond.
"It's important to keep your thumb on the pulse of markets that are related to your own, even if they differ slightly. Gathering additional perspectives and an understanding of the overall global perception about your industry, and those similar to it, can help you to anticipate upcoming changes and adapt to them ahead of the time."
-- Kito Siqueira, CEO of Satelite Audio, São Paulo, Brazil
Build a talented team on the ground. Your customer base will thank you for it.
"Entering the U.S. market requires a significant investment of time and money, but also people. As a European entrepreneur, I've seen firsthand the importance of having great people who know our business inside and out working face-to-face with clients throughout the U.S. Customers respond most positively to local support and expertise. Make sure you offer it."
-- Geraldine Gibson, CEO of AQMetrics, Kildare, Ireland
When you're first starting out, it can seem as if the obstacles won't stop coming. Keep your head up and leverage this advice from fellow entrepreneurs across the globe. If you continue to put one foot in front of the other, eventually you'll make it to the top of the mountain -- and then you'll have the chance to enjoy the view.