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18. Jun

A Director's tips for European businesses entering the US market.

As the Director of Growth at Amesto Global, I've witnessed countless European businesses take on the thrilling yet challenging journey of expanding into the vast and dynamic US market. Although the journey is thrilling, it is not without its challenges. Having been one of the first US employee(s) and Business Development hire at Amesto Global in late 2020, I have firsthand experience of the excitement and uncertainty that comes with establishing a foothold in a new market.

Reflecting on the past few years, I’d like to share three key tips to help European businesses successfully enter the US Market.


1. Develop a sound Go-To-Market Strategy.

The allure of the US market is undeniable. With a vast consumer base and the world's largest economy, the US offers immense opportunities. It's easy to be captivated by the prospect of succeeding in America and to rush into the market. However, many companies face significant challenges by doing so without a well-thought-out Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy. This often results in costly consequences, major setbacks and disruptions to timelines.

Before entering this market, it's crucial to understand that the US differs entirely from most European countries. Success with a GTM strategy in a company's home country does not guarantee success in the US. A tailored, strategic approach is vital before setting up operations.

It's imperative to analyze your company's key strengths and weaknesses and understand how they translate to the diverse US consumer base. Standing out in the saturated US market requires a differentiated value proposition and a GTM strategy that sets your brand apart from competitors.


2. Don’t underestimate State-to-State variations.

The scope and composition of the US market can easily be underestimated. Although the US is one country, it comprises 50 states, each of which often operates like a mini-country with the authority to create and enforce its own rules and regulations, in addition to federal and local laws. This leads to significant complexities in regulations across all 50 states.

This concept can be difficult to comprehend, given that the US is a single country. Two key areas where state regulations often differ significantly are within the employment and taxation landscape. For instance, some states require employers to provide paid family and medical leave, while others do not have such mandates. Similarly, states have different sales tax rates and rules regarding what goods and services are taxable.

Understanding that each state operates differently and may have different incentives and cost implications is key to picking the best location for your business operations and hiring plans in the US. Taking the time to research and select the right state can provide significant advantages and help ensure a successful market entry.


3. Build a robust network.

Establishing a robust network on the ground in the US is crucial for a successful market entry. Local contacts who understand the intricacies of the US market can help prevent potential mishaps, especially when navigating complex tax and employment systems. Cultivating relationships with local partners, suppliers and industry associations is essential for European businesses to effectively navigate the American market.

Networking at key industry conferences and joining local business chambers are effective ways to build these relationships. For instance, the SelectUSA Investment Summit is a premier event dedicated to promoting Foreign Direct Investment in the US, providing opportunities to forge new connections and facilitate growth. There are also Chambers of Commerce in most large cities which offer networking, contacts and newsletters which can be valuable resources to both your US and home-country teams.

Engaging with professionals at such events—like international expansion experts, legal advisors, tax consultants and Go-To-Market strategists—can mitigate risks and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements throughout your US market journey.


The challenges are worth the reward.

While expanding into the US market presents various challenges for European businesses, the potential rewards far outweigh the risks for those willing to undertake the journey. By developing a strong Go-To-Market strategy, understanding the variances from state-to-state and forming relationships on the ground, companies can break into the US market and form a strong foundation for success. Although challenges are inevitable, the patience and perseverance to keep going make the journey all the more rewarding.



For further insights and firsthand experiences in navigating the US market, be sure to catch Sims on the Market Entry Panel at the upcoming SelectUSA Investment Summit on Tuesday, June 25 at 3:00pm EST. Sims will be sharing valuable strategies and practical tips based on her extensive experience, providing attendees with actionable insights to accelerate their entry into the US market. Don't miss this opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge from a seasoned expert in international business expansion!

Sims Tullos Director of Growth