Last week I gave you two tips on setting up a US office. Since then several people contacted me to say that I should have mentioned the support that Australian state and federal governments provide to Australian companies breaking into the US market. They made a good point so here’s Part 2 on setting up an office in the US.
State Government Support for US Market Entry
Go first to your state government for free advice. They may also have some “free money”in the form of grant funding for export development. For example, the NSW government helped the NSW company Roamz by providing a grant and assistance with US market entry activities. If your state government has an export development office in the US then you are in a strong position. Trade and Investment Queensland (http://www.export.qld.gov.au/index.html ) has a US office in Los Angeles and Business Victoria (http://export.business.vic.gov.au/) has a US office in San Francisco. Some other states provide indirect support if their companies are setting up in the US. For example, the NSW government is subsidizing the expenses of NSW companies to set up at the Startup House incubator in Silicon Valley (http://www.business.nsw.gov.au/assistance-and-support/grants/business/startuphouse).
Austrade and Trade Associations
Your second stop should be Austrade (www.austrade.gov.au) which has multiple US offices. Austrade works with hundreds of
Australian companies in the US so you can draw on their experience rather than having to "reinvent the wheel". Also, trade associations like the Australian Institute of Export (www.aiex.com.au) and the Exporters Club (www.exportersclub.net) can connect you with Australian companies already established in America.
You will always get a better return on your investment in a US office if you put your hand up and ask for help from your State government, the Federal government, and industry groups. These organizations have helped many Australian companies
set up an office in America so by working with them you can avoid the mistakes that other Australian companies have made before.