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Why I’m taking my business to the American market

Having founded Rant & Rave in 2000, Nigel Shanahan explains why now is the right time to to venture over the pond and embrace the American market.
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Like any successful and forward-thinking company, we are always looking ahead. Earlier this month we started planning for next year and developing our growth strategy for 2018. Before focussing on what’s to come, I’d like to congratulate the entire team at Raving Towers for an exceptional year. The last financial year has been a milestone for the company with huge successes and strategic changes that are set to shape our future direction. We’re pleased to have achieved significant growth as well as having doubled the size of our team, not a small feat by any means.

Similarly to other growing businesses, as we’ve expanded our client roster we’ve recruited the best talent and become leaders in our sector here in the UK. With our customer experience expertise and market-leading technology, we’ve decided the time is now to look further afield and expand into the American market. For me, this was an easy decision to make – the US is the biggest market for our technology and we know we can go there and deliver.

Rolling three-month total trade imports and exports

Rolling UK three-month total trade imports and exports

For the team, this is going to be a big challenge but one we are all relishing. As we’ve grown here in the UK we’ve recruited in-house, for everything from developing our technology through to selling our product. This has ensured we have people on the ground, innovation at our heart and can scale rapidly. The US, however, is a different story and requires a different approach. With such a large market, we have decided to take a channel approach, whereby we partner with a company in the US that can sell our product. The scale of the market also means we need to start in an area where we have experience, this means replicating the success we’ve had in the utilities sector in the UK.

Of course, scale is not our only challenge. It is well known that US business decision makers are more likely to buy from a US company first. There is no way that a UK company can be a success in the US without a clear differentiating proposition. In many ways, a clear proposition makes the sales process easier, as you’re putting something forward that is different and this makes clear space between what you are, what you represent and the marketplace. For this reason, our marketing and product teams have been hard at work delving into our roadmap and messaging.

Whilst our venture into the American market is very much an immediate priority, we are also looking at other markets. We’d like to have satellite offices all over the world. Our success and award-winning technology has given us a platform for growth, as we look to redefine how organisations engage with their customers. The future for Rant & Rave is certainly an exciting one, so watch this space.

This article is part of a wider campaign called Founders Diaries, a section of Real Business that brings together 20 inspiring business builders to share their stories. Bringing together companies from a wide variety of sectors and geographies, each columnist produces a diary entry each month. Visit the Founders Diaries section to find out more.

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About Author

Nigel Shanahan

Nigel Shanahan is founder and chairman of customer engagement company Rant & Rave. He started the company in 2000 after having a miserable experience at a motorway service station and wishing he could tell the company how he felt. The company now works with over half of the FTSE enabling brands to create more meaningful relationships with customers and act on feedback.

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