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June 14, 2021

SaaS Nordic Clubhouse Breakfast #16 – Go West – How to enter the US Market?

Panelists:
Johan Billgren, Co-Founder inRiver (SE)
Pia Therese Roland, Director of Customer Success, Global at Ardoq (NO)
Rasmus Jensen, CCO at Templafy (DK)
Paula Poukka, Chief Commercial Officer at Videoly (FI)
Esben Friis-Jensen, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer at Userflow (US/DK)
Martin Lidgard, CEO and Founder at Web Manuals (SE)

Key takeaways:

  • In this day of age, the right time to approach the US is from the get-go! Don’t wait to approach the NA market as there is a lot to gain from engaging with that market! 
  • A wise approach is to start doing some initial business from your home country to land the first businesses before fully committing locally
  • If you can, move some of your local people to kickstart the office in NA. This will lead to a shorter time to value as you have the company culture and product understanding cemented from day 1 in the new office
  • Hire professionals to help you establish a local entity – leverage your Chamber of commerce as they can help shorten the process
  • When deciding on a physical location consider a) where are your customers and partners b) availability of local talent and c) the importance of accessibility and connection to HQ
  • Hiring in the US is different – employees are not as “loyal”. Use your Nordic culture to stand out among talents, turns out people like our way of inclusion and life/work balance approach!
  • The US in particular is the land of the contracts! Make sure you budget for a local legal counsel from day 1! 
  • Sales and buying journeys can be very different depending on the product you sell. One thing is for sure though, you can in almost all cases increase your ticket item compared to Europe
  • US is Pay to Play – make sure that you are equipped from a cash flow perspective to fund your way through an initial period. You have to make investments before you make money!