Small business exporting: Tips for selling to American customers

Small business exporting: Tips for selling to American customers

Posted: Fri 28th Jul 2023

Expanding your business to cater to international customers can open up new opportunities for growth and profit. One particularly appealing market is the United States, known for its large consumer base and strong purchasing power.

However, before you venture into the US market, you must understand the challenges – and the benefits – that come with selling in this competitive environment.

To help you make this move, we've put together a detailed guide that sets out the key steps involved in preparing to do business in the US and outlines the necessary requirements for successful trade.

Download now: Selling to customers in the US – A guide for small businesses in the UK

What the guide contains

Selling to the US: Main benefits and challenges

Understanding the advantages and hurdles of selling in the US market is essential for developing a winning strategy. Get an overview of the main benefits, such as a large consumer base, healthy economy, and diverse market segments.

Learn about the challenges, including intense competition, complex regulation, and some cultural differences.

Preparing to do business in the US

Thorough preparation is crucial if you're to make a smooth entry into the American market. This section of the guide highlights the importance of working out a solid export strategy that's tailored to your specific business goals.

You'll find guidance on doing market research, which is vital in understanding the demands, preferences and competitive landscape in the US. Find out what methods and resources you can employ when analysing consumer behaviour, identifying target demographics, and assessing market trends.

The guide also explains how a well-crafted business plan serves as a roadmap for success. Learn what you'll need to consider when planning to sell in the US – how you'll enter the market, price your products, market your offering and so on.

Getting things in order to start trading

Before you begin selling in the US, you need to familiarise yourself with the laws and regulations governing overseas trade.

This section gives an overview of key regulations and considerations, including customs requirements, product standards and labelling rules. It also emphasises the importance of registering with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Getting your goods out of the UK

Exporting goods from the UK to the US means planning carefully and following specific procedures.

In this section of the guide, you'll learn the various steps of the exporting process, such as getting an EORI number, securing an export licence (if necessary) and determining the appropriate incoterms for your shipments. It also covers the crucial aspects of making a customs declaration and arranging for transportation.

Getting your goods into the US

Successfully navigating the US customs process is vital in making sure your goods enter the US seamlessly. This section of the guide provides insights into completing the relevant documentation, preparing a detailed packing list, and addressing any additional requirements for businesses in the food and drink sector.


A banner for the Go Global programme promoting a downloadable guide on exporting to the US

Learn how to sell to customers in the US

Knowledge is power! Equip yourself with the right tools to conquer the American market. Download our guide tailored for small businesses like yours

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

You might also like…

Get business support right to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive business tips, learn about new funding programmes, join upcoming events, take e-learning courses, and more.