Many new businesses are now “born global”. They start life from day 1 with a focus on the global opportunity, and move quickly to form relationships with overseas suppliers, customers, and channel partners. This is particularly true of software-as-a-service startups, who use the internet to market and deliver their offering to customers all over the world.
My own startup was born global. In addition to tackling a global target market, we have made creative use of overseas options to lower our costs, access better services, and tap into the right talent. Our logo was done in Melbourne, website mockups in Canada, website development in India, ecommerce via a Scottish bank, and our first paying customer was from the US.
However, in my view, distribution is what often makes or breaks a new business. There’s a big difference between dabbling in a country versus building a serious channel to market. And the reality is that it can be very difficult to tackle a new market when you are located somewhere else.
A couple of services we have come across may be of interest if you want to target the US and UK markets.
- ANZA Technology Network is a private organisation that helps Australian and NZ companies “explore, build or strengthen business roots in the US”. They run a variety of programs and leverage their networks to help innovative companies investigate the US market and prepare an effective entry strategy. (Note: my business is participating in the Gateway to the US program in October)
- UK Trade and Investment runs a Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP) which aims to encourage innovative companies to move their headquarters to the UK. They can help smooth the process, open doors, and connect you with potential investors, grant providers, customers and suppliers. It operates via a network of “dealmakers” in key markets globally, who are themselves entrepreneurs.