Successfully reported this slideshow.
Doing business in the USA
                                                                          -
                    ...
Why would we know?


                                                             – Since 2005 the Atlanta office has exec...
The objective of this presentation


                                                    This presentation seeks to answer...
When going international a few key questions should be answered…


                                                       ...
Should US be the next stop in one’s internationalization, one
                                                    immediat...
Many of the observed differences have a direct relation to how a
                                                    Danis...
Many of the observed differences have a direct relation to how a
                                                    Danis...
Many of the observed differences have a direct relation to how a
                                                    Danis...
Many of the observed differences have a direct relation to how a
                                                    Danis...
While quite obvious that the US and Denmark differ, many Danish firms
                                                    ...
While quite obvious that the US and Denmark differ, many Danish firms
                                                    ...
General recommendations

                                                             – Get it right from the start! Plan,...
General recommendations

                                                             – Focus on getting clients you can d...
We are here to help.

                                                    Contact us at atlhkt@um.dk or 404 588 1588




©...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Doing Business In The USA - Lessons learned from helping 100's of DK firms with entering and growing in the US market

1,608 views

Published on

Lessons learned from helping hundreds of Danish firms into the USA. By Jan Sauer, Trade Commissioner of Denmark in Atlanta.

Published in: Business, Travel
  • Be the first to comment

Doing Business In The USA - Lessons learned from helping 100's of DK firms with entering and growing in the US market

  1. 1. Doing business in the USA - Experiences from the Trade Commission of Denmark in Atlanta By Jan Sauer Trade Commissioner Trade Commission of Denmark in Atlanta (TCD) © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  2. 2. Why would we know? – Since 2005 the Atlanta office has executed over 600 engagements for Danish firms in the USA – The Atlanta office has become the largest office in the USA based on our extreme bottom line focus and the ability we have to make a difference to Danish companies – The Atlanta office houses 24 Danish companies in our incubator, helping them startup and grow – The team at TCD Atlanta has over 40 years of combined international business experience in Strategic Planning, Sales, Marketing and Operations © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  3. 3. The objective of this presentation This presentation seeks to answer a few key questions with regards to Danish companies doing business in the USA: • Things to consider before entering the US market (or any international market for that matter). • What main differences between US and Denmark should Danish companies be aware of? • What impact do these differences have for doing business in the USA? • What are the typical pitfalls and errors that Danish companies make? • What best practices, tips and tricks exist? © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  4. 4. When going international a few key questions should be answered… – What is the motivation for entering this market – How does it fit with the overall strategy – What should it do for the company long term – Is Sr. Management involved and backing it – Is there a demand for my product and how big is the market – What are the challenges and opportunities for my product – What do I know about my potential customers – What do I know about my competition – What will be my unique advantage – what should be my focus – Have I developed different scenarios with ROI to determine the most appropriate plan – How do I enter and how does it fit the longer term strategy – How do I execute most efficiently – Have I considered what it takes, i.e. financial, support and communications from Denmark and Sr. Mgt., and other resources – What results and timelines are realistic And…have I consulted experienced people for support and feedback to my plans © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  5. 5. Should US be the next stop in one’s internationalization, one immediately notes that the USA and Denmark differ on a number of basic parameters Denmark USA Population: 5,5 mill 300 mill Ethnicity: Danish, with few immigrants A melting pot formed by immigrants Languages: Danish English and Spanish. Urban areas have concentrations of chinese, polish, russian, italian. Total land area in sq. km: 42,394 9,161,923 Coastline in km: 7,314 19,924 Comparative area: slightly less than twice the size of 3rd largest country in the world. Two and a Massachusetts half times the size of the European Union Government type: Constitutional monarchy Constitution-based federal republic Legal system: National civil law system Each state has its own unique legal system, of which all but one (Louisiana's) is based on English common law GDP per capita: $34,600 $41,800 GDP growth rate: 3.40% 3.40% Unemployement rate: 5.50% 5.10% Largest urban areas: Copenhagen - 1,2 million New York - +15 mill Aarhus - 500.000 Los Angeles - +12 mill Odense - 200.000 Chicago - +8 mill Miami -+5 mill Atlanta - +4 mill Currency: Danish Kroner US Dollar Several urban areas are the size or bigger than Denmark alone…..and each has its own unique characteristics. © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  6. 6. Many of the observed differences have a direct relation to how a Danish company should arrange its US operations A number of the most influential things to consider: Denmark USA One single homogeneous market A multitude of markets Conglomerates generally span Conglomerates can be found horizontally across industries but spanning horizontally as vertically not vertically as the DK market is due to the sheer size of some of not large enough the niches Consumers have relatively few Consumers are constantly choices bombarded with new choices Business is done from 9-5. “Call Business is 24/7. Voicemails and back tomorrow” Blackberries dominate. Vacation is 5 weeks Vacation is 2 weeks Production can usually cope with One order from Walmart equals demand several years of production – choose your customers wisely Product development and launch Products are developed and takes years or months launched in months or weeks Customer service is open from 8-6 Customer service is expected 24/7 Quality is the driver of success Sales is the driver of success © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  7. 7. Many of the observed differences have a direct relation to how a Danish company should arrange its US operations A number of the most influential should be mentioned: Denmark USA People are willing to pay extra for a There is a desire for the optimal quality product (durability price/quality relationship (buy to mentality) throw out mentality). Access to decision makers is The USA is a Gatekeeper society relatively easy CEO is paid the most Sales team is able to make more than the CEO Stock options and results based Stock options and results based salary is for the minority salary is for the majority Employees value job harmony, Compensation is the main driver challenges over compensation for your staff Employees are loyal Employees will quit for an extra 100 dollars per month Hiring and firing are both long Hiring and firing are utilized for processes competitive advantage, i.e. it is a extremely flexible parameter Titles mean less than responsibility Titles and status symbols are extremely important © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  8. 8. Many of the observed differences have a direct relation to how a Danish company should arrange its US operations A number of the most influential should be mentioned: Denmark USA Everyone’s opinion counts The boss is always right Work – life balance Work hard – play hard Management by setting objectives Micromanagement is required both and parameters for your team and for the team as your partners partners, then let them run with it When hiring: Applicants are When hiring: Applicants often relatively modest and down to earth times stretch the truth – you better – you can trust their word check the reliability Less need for references Make sure you turn every stone! Business is international Business is local (US only) Big companies do not hesitate to do Large firms want large/proven business with small firms business partners Be truthful Perception is reality Easy to adopt new practices of Slow to adopt new practices doing business (checks are common, etc) © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  9. 9. Many of the observed differences have a direct relation to how a Danish company should arrange its US operations A number of the most influential should be mentioned: Denmark USA The “noise” is growing The “noise” is unbearable…make sure you are 110% focused on what makes you different Be courteous and don’t push to Be aggressive in your sales and hard follow up Networks are not particularly Networks will get you credibility important and pass by the gatekeeper This is our portfolio of offerings This is our sole focus This is the package that we offer This is what the product will do for your bottom line! (ROI fixation) So you sold in Germany…well, So you sold in Germany…SO welcome then WHAT! What have you sold here? Being present in Germany is good Being present in the US is a enough requirement And once you are there many more will come to mind © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  10. 10. While quite obvious that the US and Denmark differ, many Danish firms assume that it is “business the usual way” And encounter a number of pitfalls…typically: • Lacking focus! Wanting to conquer the US as one market • Lacking concentration around what one does best • Lacking preparation and planning…going into the market blind • Not committing to the market but handing it off to a 3rd party and depending solely on said partner…thereby failing to secure intelligence and chances for long term profitability…losing the partner can mean that the company looses all that it has gained • Engaging the wrong partner • Not supporting the partner/US subsidiary – being too hands off © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  11. 11. While quite obvious that the US and Denmark differ, many Danish firms assume that it is “business the usual way” • Signing exclusivity for a region without securing reciprocal commitment to results • Engaging the wrong people • Lacking spend on marketing and sales, thinking that the product sells itself • Expecting profitability too soon, or committing to few resources • Hiring the wrong advisors • Not listening to the right advisors…”I built a firm in DK, how much different can it be” While errors are unavoidable a few basic recommendations can be offered.. © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  12. 12. General recommendations – Get it right from the start! Plan, prepare then execute extremely focused! The US most likely has the most potential of all your markets so treat it that way – Engage the right advisors to begin with, particularly in the vital matters such as corporate law, immigrations, and tax related…or you will fail very easily – Focus on listening and learning, developing trust with your clients and relationships, and making contacts that can help you down the line for the first 3-6 months…don’t expect a sale immediately – Focus on a clearly defined market to begin with (geo or prod) – Focus on your most proven / most successful product. Do what you do best! – Make sure you know your potential customers and their needs – Focus on the bottom line benefit and ROI of your product when selling…what is in it for them © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  13. 13. General recommendations – Focus on getting clients you can deliver to without burning yourself: Don’t go after a Coke to begin with – Focus most of your resources on going after your top list of potential clients, but don’t overlook other opportunities – Focus on closing the first sale and proving yourself in the USA…it will be a lot easier after that – Focus your HR resources: Don’t staff your US operation with 1 man who is the President, the Sales team, the Accountant and the Admin assistant…do use outside resources for leverage – Focus on getting the A-team for your start-up operation: It takes long hours, lots of enthusiasm, and a do or die attitude! And last…Focus, Focus, Focus…Have focus in all that you do! Know exactly where you want to go and how to go there, but listen on the way! © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.
  14. 14. We are here to help. Contact us at atlhkt@um.dk or 404 588 1588 © Copyright 2005 Danish Trade Council. All rights reserved. All reproduction or distribution of any material in this presentation (including, but not limited to, text, graphics, etc.), is strictly prohibited.

×