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Starting a Business in USA

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Starting a Business in USA

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Why Start a Business in the United States of America?

Not many nations have a characteristic which evokes such enthusiastic, back-slapping veneration like the American proclivity for business does. The United States nurtured and refined modern marketing: the hard-sell, branding, bigger-is-better augmentation and instant gratification. Democratic capitalism never smelt so good...

The discernable difference between setting up a business in the USA and elsewhere in the world is the staggering information and business insight readily available to you. No niche left uncovered, no service or product overlooked. The country is fertile with information and there is an overabundance of free market research, industry publications, statistics, associations, databases and studies available to help you identify where a product or service is most suited.

The United States consists of many different geographic and demographic consumer markets, each with distinct tastes, purchasing behaviours, distribution systems, regulations and climates. Business and consumer practices not only vary from state to state, but city to city and town-to-town. If you want a general geographical segmentation, you need not look further than the 50 states, approximately 10 of which are larger than Britain.

Where it used to be impossible to talk about business in the USA without unadulterated adulation, it is now a more rational and less frivolous prospect. Read on to find out if it's the right one for you.

What is the currency and exchange rate?

The currency used in the United States is the Dollar.

What is the population?

The population of the USA is 321.2 million.

What is the time difference?

The United States has six different time zones. These vary between GMT - 5 and GMT - 10.

Economic Overview

The USA is the globe's largest national economy. In their market-oriented economy, private individuals and businesses make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. Simultaneously, they face larger obstacles to enter overseas markets than foreign firms face entering US markets.

America is generally considered to amongst those at the forefront of technological advances, especially in computers, medicine, aerospace and military.

Imported oil accounts for about two-thirds of consumption. Long-term obstacles include:

  • Insufficient investment in economic infrastructure
  • Expedient rise in medical and pension costs of an ageing population
  • Sizable trade and budget deficits
  • Stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups

What are the essentials I need to know?

While we share many similarities with Americans, namely language and culture, our two nations are actually quite different. Understanding and adopting American idiosyncrasies will help ensure you are confident and tactful when negotiating deals and nurturing your business relationships. What follows is a list of fundamental things to watch out for:

Americans usually build relationships through business, not business through relationships. Lay out the details of the deal first; the relationship will organically follow

Active selling is expected and encouraged, often to a degree that may be regarded as excessive here in the UK

As the old saying goes, time is money. Be well prepared with samples, packaging and sales forecasts. Know your return on investment calculations or sales forecasts, pricing and logistics. Deadlines are not flexible and short; respond quickly or risk losing the business

Being assertive is a virtue; ask for what you want, say what you mean, and do as you say. Being shy and indirect will be seen as a weakness in the US. The English have a tendency to be over-polite and to not speak up when it matters. You're in the land of the business pitch now

Be positive. The English characteristic of self-effacement and modesty can clash with Americans' can-do mentality. Likewise, Americans tend to take things at face value, so first impressions are important

Efficient follow-up is fundamental and often requires persistent and repetitive attempts to make contact. If you have telephoned or e-mailed someone several times without reply, do not assume they are not interested. On the contrary, perseverance is expected in the US, and it may take you a dozen attempts to get a response

Business conduct in the US is generally conservative, courtly and concise. It is essential for information and benefits to be unequivocal to your potential customer

Recruitment

The USA has a workforce of approximately 152 million, with an unemployment rate of 5%.

The minimum wage varies from state-to-state, even city-to-city. Some adhere to the federal wage, whereas some reach up to $8 per hour.

Advertising

No country advertises and consequently consumes as much as the United States. It is the capitalist guinea pig on which the rest of the world is increasingly being modelled. For the business world, that's just perfect. There isn't a nook or cranny in American culture which hasn't been infiltrated and transformed into a marketing tool. From movies to internet pop-ups, it seems nothing is off limits. Here are some of the more cost-friendly methods sweeping the States:

The Internet

A website in the USA is a good foundation for any guerrilla marketing approach and is a valuable opportunity to build your brand, inform customers and impact buying decisions. Americans demand sophisticated websites, and these expectations must be met to avoid a slump in sales. Utilise all aspects of the internet: blogs, newsletters, special offers, viral campaigns, pop-ups, links, sponsorship of other websites, etc.

Free and Cheap Publicity

Attracting media coverage - which reaches your target audience by default - is a much better and effective way to influence buyers than investing in advertising space. Editorial endorsements carry incredible weight in the eyes of the consumer, and media attention will help drive sales and create brand awareness. Identify industry publications in the and US, make contact with editors and send press releases, samples, articles and reviews of your product or service.

Celebrity

The best way to approach celebrities is to target their publicists or managers. Celebrities, local, regional and national, are a dime-a-dozen in the States. There will definitely be someone right and affordable for your product or service. It's etiquette to pass on a free gift of your product or service, too, and this may help acquire their help.

Sponsorship

The US market attaches a lot of credibility to charity events and the organisations that support them. Your company may be a well suited to a local non-profit entity. Commercial events can also offer appealing sponsorship opportunities with good logo placement, media exposure and access to captive audiences.

Click here to Ask an Expert about Starting a Business in USA

Organisations that can assist with Starting a Business

  • > Radius

    Your Global Growth Experts. Radius helps businesses move into new markets, manage overseas operations or outsource entire global accounting and administration functions

    More Details Visit Website
  • > TMF Group

    TMF Group helps companies expand and invest seamlessly across international borders.

    More Details Visit Website
  • > B2B International

    B2B International is a global market research agency that specialises in b2b markets. With experience in every industry sector and country imaginable, we are well placed to help you establish your business overseas.

    More Details Visit Website
  • > Kompass (UK) Ltd

    If you are looking to start up or expand a business overseas then you will need a targeted and reliable data list to find new customers in your new market.

    More Details Visit Website
  • > True Course Ltd

    SMEs are recognizing the immense potential of trading and expanding internationally, and especially with the USA.

    More Details Visit Website
  • > Scott’s Business Travel

    Scott’s Business Travel is a trading name of Scott’s Travel Management Ltd. Founded in 1991 and trading as Scott’s Tours, the company originally offered holidays in then-communist Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union, but soon expanded to cater for all types of travel with corporate travel in particular.

    More Details Visit Website

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