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How European Startups Can Reach More American Customers
For the businesses of Europe, cracking the American market is not always straightforward. Aside from the cultural differences which some brands struggle to encompass, there are also the administrative challenges to overcome. European startups are especially susceptible to falling short when crossing over to America, so let’s talk through some tactics and techniques to try out which solve many common snafus.
Get a US phone number
With a US phone number, your geographical location is rendered irrelevant, and you can serve American consumers even if you’re based elsewhere in the world.
There are two reasons to take this route, the first of which is to reduce or even eliminate the costs that customers would otherwise incur for calling you. It’s cheaper and more convenient for them to be able to dial a US number, even if this does leave you with additional costs to pay.
The second benefit comes from a branding perspective. If you want to make your startup appear to have a local presence, a US number will do this. The same applies to having a US postal address, so consider adding that to your arsenal as well.
Build a US-specific sales team
If you’re already established as a startup in Europe and you’re eyeing up America as your next move, then you need to recognize that your approach to sales will need to shift.
You could take a whole team over with you to get the ball rolling, but in reality it’s better to hire those who already have experience and expertise in encompassing the different sales ecosystem stateside.
One affordable alternative to opening a full-blown office of your very own is to instead partner with an existing sales solution provider, and piggyback on their resources instead. If things go well, there’s always the option of going solo further down the line.
Adapt your marketing with your European startups
We’ve touched on how American customers will have different expectations about how businesses and brands reach out to them, and it’s sensible to break this down further into specific examples.
First, there’s the tone you use in your promotional materials. As well as adjusting copy to avoid using words and phrases that aren’t used in the US, you’ll need to think about how your broader brand personality is laid out, and whether it matches American sensibilities.
Then there’s the marketing methods themselves; social media marketing is hugely impactful in America, and influencers are especially powerful. As such, if you aren’t too reliant on this as part of your European operations, making a switch to your focus as you tackle the US is wise.
Leverage established platforms
Similar to the aforementioned use of a US phone number, you can also bring American consumers onboard if you sell to them through channels that they already know and trust.
While you can and should set up a standalone e-commerce site, it is handy to also embrace third party marketplaces like eBay and Amazon so that you can reach out to prospective customers with ease. This will even streamline the distribution of products, because you can harness the extensive infrastructures that platforms like this offer to sellers.
Final thoughts on European startups
Expecting instant success when moving into the American market is unhelpful for all startups, especially those based in an entirely different continent.
Making tweaks to turn US consumers onto your brand, rather than hoping that you’ll be able to get by on the exotic nature of European businesses in an American context, is advised. And patience will avoid disappointment and burnout during the early phases of your transatlantic transition.