July 27, 2010

Making it in America

The July 22 issue of BRW features the insights of Australian cosmetics entreprenuer, Emanuel Perdis, into what it takes to be successful in America. The article isn’t online, so here are the key points —

* the US market has a ‘mythical aura’ about it, like El Dorado or Shangri-La, which is part legend and part fact but it can be difficult to distinguish one from the other;

* securing bank funding to expand into the US is a major challenge; bank managers and risk analysts are terrified by the US, no matter how strong your Australian operation or how talented your management has proven to be. You need to have a rock solid Australian operation to underpin your US investment;

* every dollar it costs to solve a problem in Australia can cost five to ten times more Stateside;

* cultural differences between the two countries are massively understated, and ‘the whole cuteness of being Australian – koala bears and Nicole Kidman – wears off in micro-seconds’;

* the rewards of brand success in the US are huge, so many people ‘bite off more than they can chew’,  so know when to retreat, develop a taste for humble pie and when to make the tactical withdrawal.

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