The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.



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In today’s episode, Steli and Hiten discuss how startups can enter the US market. There are several myths that say tapping into the US market is the answer to a startup’s success. While this may be true for some, does that mean one needs to relocate to the US in order to grow? Steli and Hiten argue that not only is moving to the US a nuisance, it is also UNNECESSARY for growing your US client base—especially if you’re a SaaS company. Tune-in to learn when moving can be beneficial for you and why it’s important to prove your product or service in your own country first.

Time Stamped Show Notes:


00:26 – Today’s topic is entering the US market with your startup

01:09 – Hiten is approached often with questions about entering the US market

01:24 – Steli believes you do NOT need to move your life to the US to be able to enter the market; it’s not necessary

02:05 – It’s more than possible to start your company where you are and build your brand and customer base in the US

02:28 – Entrepreneurs don’t realize that startups cost more money in the US than in most other countries

03:56 – Money isn’t the only issue living in the US – the change will disrupt your life

04:48 – A lot of people think that being in the US will mean BIG business for them  


05:29 – Moving to the US does not guarantee success


05:38 – Steli shares an example using Greece’s economy

06:48 – If you can’t get local traction for your business where you are, chances are that US customers won’t like what you have to offer

07:10 – You can always visit the US frequently

07:41 – Visiting 3-4x/year will let you accomplish many things

08:32 – Start experimenting with your marketing by targeting US customers


09:10 – If you don’t get any success through marketing, there’s no guarantee your startup will make it if you move to the US


09:59 – You can still find success in your market even if you’re not in the US

10:13 – There are a lot of myths that say business is easier in the US

10:50 – If you’re building software, being in the US is never necessary

11:58 – If you have an accent, OWN it, but make sure you’re being understood

12:37 – It's a shame when your accent affects your confidence


13:24 – Work on confidence, not just your accent

13:46 – If you don’t want to talk to people, hire someone who’ll do that for you

14:23 – Your accent matters less in New York or San Francisco


16:19 – Hire a freelancer or have a friend look over your written copy on your website

16:48 – “People are very conscious about cultural differences”

17:21 – If your copy is on point and your product is of value, Americans won’t mind your culture

18:45 – Reach out to a startup that had success entering the US market


3 Key Points:


Moving to the US is NOT necessary for you to build your brand, following, or business—it’s not even necessary if you want to grow your US client base.

Visiting the US a few times a year can help you accomplish your goals for your business.

If you can’t acquire business in your own country, it’s likely that you won’t be able to acquire business in the US.


The post 251: How to Enter the US Market With Your Startup appeared first on The Startup Chat with Steli & Hiten.

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