Starting out in the USA is incredibly hard! The opportunity, i.e. the market size is absolutely stunning, however a small company can easily break its neck in the first few years. One of the core facets I tell my clients to emphasize is: Momentum. By momentum I mean “forward movement no matter how small”. Momentum is most easily translated to revenues. My message: Win small deals no matter how small!
Momentum is critical for the US subsidiary for a number of key reasons, reasons that directly influence the likelihood of long term sustainability:
1. Momentum, i.e. small wins gets you learnings about customers and validates product market fit
2. Momentum provides support for everyone with a stake in the venture. The team in the USA needs some form of win to keep the spirits going. The HQ abroad needs to see that things are happening. If nothing is converting to revenue they start wondering what you’re doing in the first place.
3. Revenue is the first mark to look at in terms of assessing whether the USA is a viable market for your firm or whether you should abort mission.
In everything you do pre-market entry and during the first few years of operation, I strongly advise you prioritize for momentum more than anything else.
Good luck to you.
What do you think? What are your thoughts as to momentum as a determinant of long term success for foreign firms entering the US market?