What is it Really Like to Expand Your Agency in the US?

Tue 22 Feb 2022 2:00 pm UK Time

• Branching out abroad – and especially the States – is a high priority for many agency leaders.
• But what is it really like? How challenging is it to set up shop Stateside? And how different is doing business over there?
• We’ll be chatting to Sophia ‘Puff’ Story, co-founder of 3 Sided Cube USA, about her venture to the US and how she’s found it so far.

Sophia ‘Puff’ Story is co-founder of 3 Sided Cube, and moved out to Florida with her family to set up the US side of the business.

“Now more than ever there is a huge appetite for US organisations, companies and not for profits, to work with UK teams. They’re starting to realise the difference in price, but also the quality of delivery is higher coming out of the UK, from what I have experienced – so we have a lot to offer.”

Branching out to the US is on many agency leaders’ bucket list.

“It’s a very big transition, bigger than you realise,” says Sophia ‘Puff’ Story, co-founder of 3 Sided Cube USA. “My advice to anyone thinking about doing it is that naturally, things are going to take longer.”

Around 60% of 3-Sided Cube’s clients are in the US, so moving the business over there was always a high priority. 

And in 2019, Puff was able to commit to it, complete with moving her entire family over with her.

“We were all excited, all geared up, and then COVID hit,” she says. 

This meant that Puff’s move Stateside took almost two years.

 “We had a whole year where we couldn’t get anyone from the UK to the US, that doesn’t help with building relationships,” says Puff.

“We kept the wheels in motion, and we just made sure the UK business was fine,” she says. “That allowed me to really focus on the US market and I began time shifting from the UK. I did that for about a year.”

Puff and her family finally moved to Florida in July 2021 – and although things vary from state to state, Puff immediately noticed the differences in working directly on US soil.

“The market is just huge. We’ve grown way quicker than we were anticipating, and the growth is coming predominantly from the US,” Puff says. “The budgets are bigger, the duration of projects is longer, and they’re quite happy to sign up to longer-term contracts.”

“In the UK, it’s predominately six to 12-month contracts. Over here you’re looking at more of a three-to-five-year plan.”

“Things are just happening quicker and faster,” she says, “There aren’t as many restrictions either.”

Even the way they go about their business is in stark contrast to ‘the British way’.

“Americans are typically more direct than us awfully polite British people,” she says. 

“Over here, it’s just standard business practice. Whether they’re asking for a discount, asking something to be done quicker, or whatever – you don’t get if you don’t ask.”

Though she adds: “They do love a British person, too, and you can very use that to your advantage.” 

In this session, Puff will be telling us exactly what it’s like to move a business to American soil, the obstacles you can face along the way, and how it’s affected the UK side of things.