Murrieta-Based International Trade and Development Consultant Helps American Companies Get Out of Their Comfort Zone to Expand Overseas
To go global, U.S. companies have to get out of their comfort zone or they’ll likely fail. Murrieta-based Global Expansion Solutions CEO, Juha “John” Kiesi, appeared on California CEO Business Spotlight to explain what it takes for a bold entrepreneur to take a product internationally.
Successfully marketing a new product or service in the United States is hard enough. But going global is an entirely different beast to conquer.
Murrieta-based Global Expansion Solutions CEO, Juha “John” Kiesi, appeared on California CEO Business Spotlight to explain what it takes for a bold entrepreneur to take a product internationally.
“Always, expanding your business is a challenge. But going overseas, it will be two-times or 10-times as tough,” Kiesi said. “So, you have to be honest with yourself. Do you have what it takes to make it out there?”
The consultant from Finland specializes in business development, real estate and retail. He founded Global Expansion Solutions in 2011 to help U.S. companies expand overseas. It didn’t take long for Kiesi to find the “Achilles Heel” of American entrepreneurs.
“If there is one weakness with this great, great nation, it is that you prefer to stay so much in your comfort zone,” he said. “You like to work with other Americans, and you like to do things your own way. Unfortunately when you go overseas, that’s not going to happen in many cases.”
The consultant explained that determining one’s odds at achieving global success starts with a brutally honest assessment of the company and its products. Then the focus turns to strategies for entering an overseas market and determining what countries are in need of the product. Finally, Kiesi’s firm examines the hundreds of other things to consider before launching a global bid, such as financing, or hiring someone to run the business “way over there.”
The hiring is especially critical, Kiesi said.
“Everything comes down to your team. If you only see Americans with very limited experience internationally, you already know that you’re not going to make it. You have to have that knowledge and experience of facing new cultures and new challenges. ”
The same blunt advice also holds true for overseas companies that want to expand in the U.S.
Recently, Kiesi joined with a Finland-based manufacturer to start-up in Murrieta. “Yepzon” makes GPS locators for autistic children, or for adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s, or even for tracking down lost pets or stolen valuables. The company has already teamed-up with the Murrieta Police Department to offer the product as part of a first of its kind community pilot project.
Kiesi complimented his home city’s economic development department for making the transition for Yepzon easier.
Murrieta, likewise, complimented Kiesi by naming him an international business advisor for the city. The move could pay off someday for the young southwestern Riverside County bedroom community considering Kiesi’s firm now services clients across most of Europe, China, India, Russia and South America.
Global Expansion Solutions, he said, has an edge up on other consultants.
“We can provide one of the widest geographical presences in the world — over 30 countries so far,” Kiesi said. “They will also gain very honest and straight forward recommendations.”
BY KJ THOMAS