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I recently asked several of my U.K. clients a series of questions about their efforts to break into the American market. Their replies were very insightful into the strategic decisions that were necessary for their successful entry into the American market. Plus, they provide an excellent starting point for a discussion of the legal issues and strategic decisions that you should consider.
Fuel Service and Safety Specialist
This industry award winning U.K. company was founded in 2001 and has become a global leader in the haulage industry in less than ten years. Their innovative products have become very popular with blue-chip multinationals and other leading logistics companies.
1. What led to your decision to sell to the American market?
Response: “The timing of the decision to sell in the U.S. was in fact a reactive decision based on an enquiry we received from a company in Florida wishing to be our National Reseller.”
2. What key factors were considered in making this decision?
Response: “The company above (Florida company) first undertook nine months of research to establish demand in the market place. This (process) involved meeting with Truck Fleets, demonstrating the product, and discussing their fuel security issues plus visiting CV (Commercial Vehicle) shows to do the same. We requested and evaluated their Sales and Marketing plan and we agreed market share targets for years 1-3.”
3. Briefly describe why the American market represents an opportunity for your company?
Response: “The market size, the current fuel price trend and the early adopting culture for new/unique products.”
4. What one issue/concern/problem kept you up at night? Why?
Response: “Whether one National Distributor could achieve our market share objectives due to the economic and geographic size, or, whether we should appoint a series of regional distributors which in turn would create much more support work from the U.K.”