Why building connections matters: the greatest benefit of the NYC Immersion Program

For companies trying to enter a new market, the biggest challenge has nothing to do with product market fit, funding or development. It comes down to connections.

Businesses are built, launched and grown through connections, through the people you know and what they can do for you and enable. When companies raise investment, their initial funding almost always comes from their immediate networks. It’s the strength of trust that allows it to happen. Going into a new market cold, without the benefit of a personal network that can give you a soft landing is always going to be a huge challenge. 

At the very basic level, it’s about knowledge. You don’t know what you don’t know. If you think about the vagaries and challenges of your own ecosystem, industry and market – it’s obvious how much assumed knowledge is required just to navigate the local tax system, let alone the key partnerships and how they function relationally. When you lack that personal insight, you’re on the wrong foot immediately. The right network can give you access to that.

But beyond what you know, if you can solve who you know, you’ll be able to gain social proof that can smooth the journey to a new market. 

The social proof is vital 

Being a proven commodity at home might demonstrate that you’re a serious concern. But it doesn’t prove that you have value or worth as you expand overseas. For a company moving from the UK or Australia into the United States, the numbers and wins you’ve had in your existing market won’t necessarily convince customers, partners, regulators or investors that you are worth supporting in the US market. This is where social proof comes into play. The people you’re affiliated with are going to be your verification. They’ll vouch not only for your value as a company but the value of you as a founding team, and the trust they are prepared to place in you by making introductions. 

Social proof is allowing people to recognise that you are a part of their network. 

The opportunities don’t go to strangers 

When you’re going into your first overseas deals, that social proof will be more necessary than ever. You are a risk. You’re an unproven gamble. When a company is considering you as a supplier, that means it’s harder for them to agree to sign on. The safer bet is always going to be a company that they know – whether it’s because they’re a local player or they’ve worked with the founders and team before. Where you’re able to show that you have references who can back you, you can mitigate some of that risk and remove a major barrier to entry. The opportunities aren’t going to go to companies who push into a market and pitch cold, because it doesn’t make business sense. 

The right network is an accelerator 

The right network doesn’t just tap into opportunities, it provides you with active growth that can help you identify and reach milestones faster. The right network has connectors, it has advisors, it has investors and it has people who can strategically guide your company. If you’ve grown in one market already, you know how this works. But you don’t know how much more impactful it is when you’re opening a new arm or a new expansion in a new home. The acceleration of a network effect can streamline every single process. These are people with insight, who have been exactly where you are.

How to tap into the right network

One of the critical benefits of our NYC Immersion Program is the ability to tap into and join a network that we have grown over years of working with companies in Australia, the UK and the United States. Our clients have become part of US business networks by participating in successful launches and landing pads as they enter the US market. These networks don’t just happen –  it is through warm introductions to our network partners – only possible because the brand and the social proof we’ve already built up and which has resulted in an enduring trust and mutual respect.

To find out more about the FD Global Connections NYC Immersion Program, you can view our insights and program information here. We’re accepting cohort participants now for our next intake closing in early March!