The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business research findings gives pro-business nations across the globe serious bragging rights. Right up there, in sixth place, is the United States earning its stripes for a gold star studded report card. Entrepreneurs around the world want to work in the USA to jumpstart their businesses and it’s easy to see why.
According to the 2020 report, top ranking countries prioritise seamless business regulatory reforms – such as starting a business, getting credit and paying taxes – as well as contracting with the government and employing workers. Combined with its innovative residency-by-investment programmes, this makes America an attractive destination for business people, entrepreneurs and High Net Worth Individuals. If this sounds like you, here are our top etiquette tips for making your business a success on American shores.
It’s all about who you know
Network, network, network. Put yourself out there and show your enthusiasm for the local community by joining commerce and industry groups, networking events and business fairs. If you’re in a period of transition and have your hopes set on ambitious growth, you’ll need to focus on connections that could earn you funding and inward investment. Americans are generally passionate and straight-talking so sell your big idea wherever you go, don’t be shy. If your authenticity shines through, you’ll be sure to find yourself in good company.
Our practical tips are to get business cards printed as soon as possible as it’s common business etiquette in the USA to exchange cards, even if this may seem outdated in other countries. You should also consider wandering from your home office every now and then. Renting a desk or an office in a lively and active coworking space is an excellent way to meet other self-employed professionals who may become strategic partners.
Respect the clock
Time is a valuable resource so don’t squander it. To be successful in your US business venture, you must understand that Americans care about productivity and being on time. Not only is proper time-keeping polite in social circles, it’s crucial in professional settings. You can guess why: time is money. South Africans’ favourite ‘now now’ or ‘just now’ attitude towards deadlines and meetings won’t cut it. American business culture is results-driven, whereas on the African continent it is much more relational. The faster you can show results, the more you will impress.
Stick to the rules
Americans don’t take kindly to bending the rules either. While in many European and African states a lax approach to rules may be acceptable, it is certainly not in the United States. There are no grey areas or wiggle room to interpret rules loosely. One business correspondent goes as far to say that it’s a rule in itself that Americans don’t like to work around the rules.
For entrepreneurs, this means knowing and following the regulations of your business and industry. If you feel this may be an unnecessary hindrance, let us reassure you that it’s not. Americans value innovation and entrepreneurship as much as they obsess about rules. Stick to the rules and you’ll find endless support in your favour. After all, you’re chasing the American dream – and that’s a narrative all Americans respect.
The EB-5 Investor Programme, facilitated by American Dream, offers High Net Worth Individuals the opportunity to gain a Green Card to live, work and travel anywhere in the USA. The economic and political security provided by the programme, and the ability to apply for a visa immediately, make this route the ideal pathway for emerging entrepreneurs.