As part of a project with some danish companies looking at the us market as an opportunity I wanted to share some basic information that needs to be in place when assessing the us market. Any market for that matter. The below are not a comprehensive list and in no particular order but it’s a great starting point and covers what is most important:
1. What is your hypothesized strategy for the usa right now?
2. based on #1, who are your perfect customers, i.e. size of firm, industry, etc.
3. What pain do you solve? How frequent does this pain occur? What’s the monetary impact of this pain? What solutions do your customers deploy today to solve their pain?
4. What product will you focus on first and why? Why this product? How are you unique? Where does this product fall in terms of the price vs value map?
5. What region are you planning to go into first and why? Can you list examples of companies in the area you are focused on at first and why they would buy from you?
6. What is the typical buying process and who is involved (titles / responsibilities)? Perhaps you can explain how you got some of the latest clients and use this to test if this process would be the same in the usa. 7. Pricing? Why are you priced like this? Outside of your cost what additional cost will there be for the customer to use your product?
8. What are you hoping to achieve in the USA next 18-36 months? What are you doing already? What has worked and what has been proven to not work?
9. What 3 questions do you want to ask and to whom assuming you’re on a mission to learn?
10. Selling via partners? why, why not? what have you done to explore this channel?
11. Do you have a company presentation? Can you execute a great presentation of you only have 20 minutes? What would you tell a random stranger in 30 seconds that you did?
12. Have you allocated budget and resources to the US market development or are you simply exploring? You need to think of this as a marathon and allocate 24 months to get to cash flow positive?
13. Who will/is the US champion to support the US growth initiative?
14. Does your Board approve of the US expansion?
15. What is the biggest risk? What could go wrong and what are you doing to minimize it’s likelihood?
16. Does your team consist of experienced people that have full trust with senior management? What processes and resources do you have in place to support them?
17. Who will install, implement and support your product?
18. What tangible, measurable indicators will you track? What 3 kpi’s are you setting up?
Having worked with several hundred European based technology firms I’ve found that these questions would be good to answer in the process of planning and executing on a us market entry.
What else? What are questions related to successfully entering and growing in the us market?