This post comes from the perspective of Dave Darsch.
Being outside of your own culture allows you to take a step back and see that culture clearly. As a U.S. entrepreneur who has done business with high-growth companies overseas for 20 years, I've observed many American companies in international territory.
And it's clear that U.S. culture prepares companies for success in a competitive global market - although they may not realize it, given that only 1% of America's small businesses export overseas. Here are 3 ways U.S. companies can tap into their key advantages, to take the leap and find international success.
Communication is powerful and having English as your native language empowers you in a very global way. The U.S., like many other countries, from the U.K. and Australia to Ireland and Barbados, has this advantage. Speaking fluent English is a huge privilege, as English is the language of business worldwide.
This means U.S. entrepreneurs can communicate in most business situations with certainty, knowing they are accurately getting their message across without worrying about language mix-ups. Being part of a global English-speaking community elevates your comfort level and confidence, so you can focus on the business at hand.
2. Risk Culture
As Bill Gates once said, "To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks." Entrepreneurial risk-taking is deeply embedded in U.S. culture. While companies must weigh up any business risk, they should also remember that change always brings discomfort.
Companies within a culture with a high tolerance for uncertainty have the ability to make difficult decisions, and handle the consequences. In fact, failure is often seen as a stepping stone on the road to success. The ability to take positive risks, and bounce back from setbacks, will help any company looking to expand internationally.
3. Vast home market
Many companies based in countries with a small national market are pushed into the world of international sales very early early in their corporate lives, simply to extend their client base.
U.S. companies start with the advantage of living in a large addressable market that is extremely attractive, with a large GDP, a homogenous language and relatively similar buying patterns. This allows them to get their foothold and develop before beginning their international journey.
However, as we continue on the path to a global economy, it's crucial that companies don't stay in the comfort zone of the U.S. market as the default option. There's a world out there, with powerful and growing markets outside of America. The experience and qualities your company develops in the U.S. can be a springboard for international success.