– Think of exporting a product and not internationalize the company
One of the common mistakes is to think that send a container of the products in the United States it is enough to easily find a distributor or get an agent to represent their company.
Not only many times you need to change radically the product but adaptation must involve the entire company that needs to get the processes and service levels that meet US standards.
– Start activities without careful preparation
Many business owners assume they already know how to move in the United States because they had some contact in the area, no doubt you may have received misinformation or incomplete, albeit in good faith.
Very popular is the illusion to believe that the United States is an easy market because they speak only one language, the rules are simple and the Americans are “easy people”. It is completely wrong: the US market is “super-crowded” with competitors coming from all over the world; therefore it is expensive, competitive and sometimes has some forms of protection; it is very risky to invest in the United States, without a thorough market research and a solid business plan.
– Believe that own competitiveness can be based only on the technical level / quality of the product.
Many business owners think it is enough to have an excellent product to sell easily in the U.S.: it is wrong; to have a product / service above the average is the minimum requirement to enter in the U.S. market, but not enough; having a great product is only the first step in a long journey that characterizes the development of a commercial development in the U.S.; many efforts are required in the creation of sales networks or in the definition of commercial partnerships, which require time and money; also the more the product is exclusively the more investment is needed in your brand.
It should also be pointed out that the U.S. market is a “PR market” and so it is important not to underestimate the importance of trade shows, seminars, etc., and all your marketing / promotion actions that support the sale of any product / service.
– Behave in the US as in their own country
One of the most common mistakes is to think to operate in the United States, as in your country, for example between Italian, German or French. Many times entrepreneurs underestimate the cultural differences between the two countries; it is neededto to be very careful to written rules and especially those that are not written in the culture of American business.
– To assume that set up and manage a branch in the United States involves high costs
The set up of a legal entity with limited liability in the U.S. is a very quick operation that can be done without moving from own country and ay very low cost: the set up of a legal entity, typically a Corp or an LLC, costs a few thousands of dollars (assuming very simple agreements among shareholder) and does not require a minimum share capital; the legal entity may reside at a lawyer, a CPA or an office of their choice.
The management of a legal entity in the U.S. requires very low fixed costs and variable depending on the actual volume of activity; Such management can be carried out without direct employees on U.S. territory, and all activities can be monitored from headquarters in Europe.
The establishment of a legal entity shall include the possibility of having a U.S. checking account , it allows to operate as a local company as well as having a much easier administration with American customers.
– Manage your business from own native country
Many times it happens that companies invest thousands of euro in tradeshows and visits to customers reaping great expressions of esteem for their products; unfortunately this commercial development is totally nullified by the fact that after a few days there is no one in the area that will continue to feed it; It is in fact a big mistake to underestimate the need for “closeness” to the client that provides timely responses and frequency of contact, and relying totally on distributors, agents or representatives.