Button Text

When should a startup plan for a US expansion

July 14, 2021
Company Building

Massive scale, cutting edge innovation & eager investors. It is not surprising that most of our founders aspire to expand into the US market. But it is not a simple task. The rewards can be high but so are the risks. Many Asian start-ups have rolled the dice, come up short & their domestic businesses have suffered as a result.

The Jungle team are experts in expanding Asia-born businesses into the US market. We always encourage our founders to ask themselves the tough questions before packing their bags & heading stateside.

Do I have sufficient capital in place?

Expanding into the US is not something you can do on the cheap. Setting up a skeleton team & hoping for the best won’t work. Make sure you collaborate with your board & your investors to align around a viable, fully costed business operating plan. This might even mean hiring a team of 5 or 6 people, onboarding them & getting them set up on premises. To deliver this, & to retain the all-important organisational agility, requires significant dry capital. Every stakeholder, from your senior leadership team to your investors, need to be committed to the plan & supportive of the necessary investment.

Do I have a team ready to relocate to the US?

A business is more than a model, it is a unique entity with its own culture. Its own DNA. Transferring this DNA is critical to ensuring that you create a cohesive, global team with a coordinated strategy for driving growth. The boots on the ground in the US have to share both your commitment to the vision & your deep understanding of how the business works. The simplest way to do this is by transplanting some key people from Asia to the US for at least 3 to 6 months a year. This is of course a risk to your local business because key personnel are taken away but, when taking such a big leap into the unknown, experience counts for a lot & the trade-off is worth it.

Do I have a support mechanism set up in the US market?

When accelerating into a large, unfamiliar market like the US, who you know is as important as what you know. Having a local network of local, experienced advisors excited to help you succeed will be crucial getting those all-important first 5 to 10 customers. These might be board members, investors or operating partners, like Jungle’s own Chris Reisig, working with your VC. These advisors will help you find the right recruiters, connect with new customers, get meetings with the right partners & identify new investors.

Jungle specializes in helping our founders prepare thoroughly & execute with excellence. In our experience, it is those founders who look before they leap who stand the best chance of making it work. Those who move when the time is right & they have created the conditions for success.

Good luck with your big move!

Watch the full video here

button to scroll to top
Up Next: