In today’s episode, Steli and Hiten discuss how startups can enter the US market. There are several myths that say tapping into the US market is the answer to a startup’s success. While this may be true for some, does that mean one needs to relocate to the US in order to grow? Steli and Hiten argue that not only is moving to the US a nuisance, it is also UNNECESSARY for growing your US client base—especially if you’re a SaaS company. Tune-in to learn when moving can be beneficial for you and why it’s important to prove your product or service in your own country first.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:26 – Today’s topic is entering the US market with your startup
  • 01:09 – Hiten is approached often with questions about entering the US market
  • 01:24 – Steli believes you do NOT need to move your life to the US to be able to enter the market; it’s not necessary
  • 02:05 – It’s more than possible to start your company where you are and build your brand and customer base in the US
  • 02:28 – Entrepreneurs don’t realize that startups cost more money in the US than in most other countries
  • 03:56 – Money isn’t the only issue living in the US – the change will disrupt your life
  • 04:48 – A lot of people think that being in the US will mean BIG business for them  
    • 05:29 – Moving to the US does not guarantee success
  • 05:38 – Steli shares an example using Greece’s economy
  • 06:48 – If you can’t get local traction for your business where you are, chances are that US customers won’t like what you have to offer
  • 07:10 – You can always visit the US frequently
  • 07:41 – Visiting 3-4x/year will let you accomplish many things
  • 08:32 – Start experimenting with your marketing by targeting US customers
    • 09:10 – If you don’t get any success through marketing, there’s no guarantee your startup will make it if you move to the US
  • 09:59 – You can still find success in your market even if you’re not in the US
  • 10:13 – There are a lot of myths that say business is easier in the US
  • 10:50 – If you’re building software, being in the US is never necessary
  • 11:58 – If you have an accent, OWN it, but make sure you’re being understood
  • 12:37 – It’s a shame when your accent affects your confidence
    • 13:24 – Work on confidence, not just your accent
    • 13:46 – If you don’t want to talk to people, hire someone who’ll do that for you
    • 14:23 – Your accent matters less in New York or San Francisco
  • 16:19 – Hire a freelancer or have a friend look over your written copy on your website
  • 16:48 – “People are very conscious about cultural differences”
  • 17:21 – If your copy is on point and your product is of value, Americans won’t mind your culture
  • 18:45 – Reach out to a startup that had success entering the US market

3 Key Points:

  1. Moving to the US is NOT necessary for you to build your brand, following, or business—it’s not even necessary if you want to grow your US client base.
  2. Visiting the US a few times a year can help you accomplish your goals for your business.
  3. If you can’t acquire business in your own country, it’s likely that you won’t be able to acquire business in the US.