By David Bensoussan, CEO & Founder at StartHub Accelerator.
It's been my personal experience that entering a new market is a great ordeal. It's time-consuming, financially daunting and worst of all, it comes with unforeseeable complications. From misjudging cultural biases to incorrectly pricing a product or service by not efficiently studying the new region, keeping these steps in mind should ease the entire process -- especially for first-time entrepreneurs.
Focus on resources readily available to you simply by inquiring for information.
This should give you a lay of the land and begin the process of establishing a few contacts in your targeted region. For example, in Miami, The Beacon Council is the county's official economic development partnership. Its sole purpose is to be a resource to incoming companies to establish operations. They facilitate contacts and introductions and provide statistical market information and access to industry-specific reports. Be sure to look for companies that can go a step further and assist in the actual implementation of your business in this new market. Resources + strategy and local execution -- trial and error = a greater chance of success.
Strive to have direct access to vetted or verified professionals.
Your quest to succeed in a new market doesn't come without huge financial investment and usually a lot of uncertainty. My suggestion to mitigate these risks is to find dependable, trustworthy organizations with a proven track record of launching new subsidiaries in their home turf. What you're looking to evaluate here is how they operate and how your company will benefit from the partnership. The way we look at it, working with this sort of company will help you handle two critical aspects of your operations; the first one being financials. Softlanding programs are designed to be cost-efficient, which in turn aid in handling the second issue: uncertainty. Odds are if you've chosen the right soft-landing company, it probably isn't their first rodeo. This means you're going to be working with professionals who know exactly how to establish, support and grow your new business.
Have someone on the ground in your new market.
Now that your business is established and you have the right professionals providing support for your operation, what's next? Your marketing expert or outsourced CFO aren't going to be the ones pounding the pavement for your company. You have to be sure to have someone, ideally locally, handling your day-to-day business development. Not only that but create a workforce that is culturally adept. It's one of those overlooked, intangible value-adds to your initial launch. They can act as your eyes and ears, keeping up with the latest local trends, attending trade shows in your industry and mingling with potential new clients, vendors, distributors and ideal prospects.
Find help to rapidly implement your company.
Your runway begins to shrink as soon as your U.S. subsidiary opens. This is why I recommend enlisting help. Find an all-around solution to establish your main office or headquarters to obtain an immediate address and physical location. Seek services that shorten the time it takes to hire talent and vet your contacts and professionals assisting you in running the operation. Have someone who can make sure your legal structure is handled correctly based on what's most beneficial for your company and industry and who can implement it right away. This will help you avoid any hassle in the future as your company expands its market share.
Ultimately, the goal of following these steps is to shrink your margin of error with expert guidance and be cost-efficient with your current resources as you explore new grounds for your business.
David Bensoussan is CEO & Founder at StartHub Accelerator, a Miami based consumer-centric development company specialized in US Soft Landing Strategies.