What it's like to set up an overseas office?
Challenging and time consuming - however lots of fun! The location needed to have certain credentials to warrant us locating there - it was important that it included a critical mass of corporate companies and agencies as well as being a destination for overseas clients. Links to London was also an important factor in our choice of office location, which is why we settled on New York City. Setting up was extremely challenging, there were a variety of time consuming elements including managing staff logistics, creating a business plan and managing funds.
What do you need to be aware of when launching in the US?
Within the UK, Wildgoose has built up a great reputation. However, in the US very few people know us and therefore it is important to remember to treat the new office as a start up. We had to be ever mindful of the fact that the US has 50 different states, which - geographically spread over a vast area - have their own laws, different tax rates and a variety of business regulations.
What are the differences in business rules?
We have discovered that the decision making process within organisations in the US takes longer, and the differences in how the US market purchase is significant. Our successes so far within the US market have been created through relationship building, networking events and nurturing client relationships. Subtle language adjustments across our sales and marketing material have also been a key consideration during the business planning process - we want to ensure that our US clients are confident in our ability to deliver events of high quality, and to understand that we operate globally.
What have been your biggest challenges?
Setting up in New York has been a massive commitment, I spent 11 weeks away from my family and the UK business, so it was definitely not a decision to be taken lightly. Moving two people out of the UK also meant I had a personal responsibility to ensure they adjusted and settled in well. There were also normal business development challenges to get the company off the ground in a country where people do not know who we are. The key is to hold your nerve whilst outgoings increase and income doesn't. This is normal in the first stages of a start up business.
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