By Cristina Perez, Founding Partner
I’m a big believer in an international perspective—in life, in culture, and especially in business. Over the years, I’ve had the honor to watch countless companies and individuals set up operations in America. Done correctly, this process benefits both the business, and the economy. Done poorly, however, it can easily end in failure.
This has little to do with the size of your organization. One of my clients, a major media conglomerate, came to the US and was able to create new channels that have become highly popular. Another, an independent importer/exporter, used their international savvy to serve domestic markets better than the competition—and wound up penetrating the market in multiple states, with millions in revenue. What did these two businesses have in common? Both were committed to the process in the long term, and both had smart strategies from the outset.
If you’re looking to either expand an existing business or start a new one in the United States, it’s important to have this attitude. The regulating agencies will be looking at you with a microscope, and you will face competition from domestic companies as well. It’s crucial to come prepared for success. In many cases, that means building your network before taking a single step.
As an immigration attorney, I wear many hats. When it comes to business, connecting my clients with a network of professionals is part of my role. My clients’ success is going to depend on who they know, and how well those connections serve them. They need professional connections in order to correctly establish a legal entity, draw up business plans, locate property, even create branding and marketing. These are all things I can’t personally do—but I’ve seen how, without them, an international business can appear as if it is doomed to fail.
If all of this is done correctly, however, it doesn’t just convince the regulators that the business is legitimate and a good investment—it also convinces customers and partners. Once the foundation is laid correctly, the opportunities begin to stream in, and business can take off in an unbelievable way.
The key factor in all of this is demonstrating that the business is going to be viable. Your primary goal should be to show professionalism and a growth mindset at all stages. Make it clear that your organization will contribute to the economy, creating jobs and revenue. Commit to a long-term strategy, build your foundation correctly, and prepare to reap the benefits of operating in the biggest, most diverse economy on Earth.