Breaking America isn’t just for the Beatles, with numerous small British companies having found success in the United States.
Grace Gould, the founder of Soda Says, launched her tech product retail business Stateside last year. “You can’t copy and paste a UK market strategy; what works here won’t necessarily work there,” she says.
The press, for example, is not as strong a sales channel, with so few media brands covering the whole country. “You don’t have the same saturation of audience,” she says, suggesting that businesses take it state-by-state.
However, it’s important to be familiar with local legislation first. “Some states required us to jump through lots of complex regulatory hoops,” says Dan Quille, founder of Choose a Challenge, an adventure travel firm that launched in Connecticut before expanding to eight other states.
Know the law
Hiring a lawyer is a good plan to get to grips with each state’s idiosyncrasies. “There’s a huge amount of red tape to negotiate,” says Quille, who rejects the “ultimate free market” view that many hold of the US. “You get through one set of federal-level paperwork only to find a whole lot more at the state and city levels,” he adds.