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Building your business in the US: Similar language doesn’t equal similar culture!

Here are some essential differences between the UK's and US's business cultures you need to be aware of before starting your business overseas.

Just because two cultures share a common language or are in a similar part of the world , it does not necessarily mean that they share a common business culture. This sounds like an obvious point, but assumptions like these can lead to awkward interactions in a different cultural setting. So in order to make your business successful in the US, you first should identify and understand the main differences that exist between the US and your home country so that you will be able to set up the right strategies to fit in the US market.

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Here are some essential differences between the UK's and US's business cultures you need to be aware of before starting your business overseas.

Cultural differences

Communication: The Language. Even though English is spoken in both countries, you need to consider the differences of American English in order to avoid misunderstandings. Self-promotion is one of the strongest differences between the US and the UK. When talking about business communication Americans are super-comfortable selling themselves. They aren’t afraid of exhibiting their accomplishments. So promoting yourself is the skill you must use for getting ahead in the US professional world in order to receive accolades and be recognised professionally.

Enthusiasm is very commonplace in the US workplace. Don’t be surprised during a business meeting if your colleagues exaggerate when expressing their opinions or disagreements. It is culturally acceptable to show enthusiasm because it demonstrates to the other that your interest is real and genuine.

Punctuality: Talking about appointments and meetings, Americans are usually on time compared to their British counterparts.

Performance: American businesses measure their performances on a short-term basis, with profit and loss statements being issued on a quarterly basis. This also drives individuals to strive for quick results within the work place.

Consumer trend: With money, US consumers are generally less cautious than UK consumers. Indeed the British are three times more likely to be careful spenders.

With Internet users, Americans spend more time on the internet. In 2014 they spent an extra hour per day on the internet than their British counterparts.

social mediaNow you’re aware of the differences, here are some tips on how to begin your business in the US.

Build a successful business overseas

Choose the right market place: You need to lead a market study in order to find the best place where your product or service can be the most successful.

Use digital marketing to promote your business: Americans are the most connected people in the world, thus exploring all social networks, such as Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook is essential to make your business known by tons of US potential customers.

Build a US website: The common mistake would be to think of using the same website for the UK and for the US. Indeed, we see above that the two countries have different cultures and slight nuances in language. Thus localisation is necessary to create your US website in order to adapt your website design to the US consumers’ expectations, and consequently to enter the market without facing cultural barriers.

Be excellent in Intercultural Management: Intercultural Management is the key to making your business successful in the States. You will surely have to deal with many different cultures since the US was built from people of various horizons.

Also hiring Americans in your company can be a way to understand better your clients' needs and meet them.

manhattan-370513_640When starting and building your business in the US it is important to make sure you take into account the culture's particularities. Knowing the differences, you can implement the right management strategy by using localisation techniques, by exploiting social networks with a view to be as integrated as possible in the US market according to Americans' needs. Written by Anais Laget

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