Doing Business From Outside The US

This is a guest post

We recently had a new franchise owner complain that they weren’t able to launch their franchise because they were in New Zealand and Craigslist was blocking them from placing “help wanted” ads. He asked for alternatives for hiring.

I found that interesting because I live in Bora Bora.

It is a fact that most of the Internet business in the western world will come from the United States. You can not run a successful Internet business and ignore the United States market.

It is also a fact that residents of the United States are perhaps the least knowledgable about how the rest of the world does business and are also the least likely to do business with a company located outside the U.S. (although they are a bit more comfortable doing business with Canadian countries than others).

That has been a reality for a very long time even as most United States manufacturing companies have moved their business headquarters or a large part of their manufacturing business to other countries.

The solution that most international companies find for doing business in the United States is to establish a United States presence. This is much easier than it sounds in the Internet age.

There are only a few ways that an American can tell you are not from the United States. Here are some of the clues:

1. Using poor English on your site or in other communications (such as email). Using British English or New Zealand/Australian/South African or any other variant of English is just fine. But using poor English showing that English is your 2nd language raises alarms.

2. Your IP address. This is where our New Zealand friend ran into problems with Craigslist.

3. Your domain name. Using a country specific domain name raises flags.

4. Accepting currency other than dollars. Pricing your product or service in pounds, euros or any other currency raises red flags.

5. Showing a non-U.S. address on your web-site, emails or in your PayPal account. This raises red flags.

6. Showing a non-U.S. telephone number in your communications. Same problem.

That’s about it. If you can establish a U.S. presence in those six areas then the average customer, vendor, employee, web-site or any other resource you need from America to be successful in your Internet business will be readily accessible because you will be perceived as a fellow American… regardless of where you lay your head at night.

Here are the solutions to establishing that American presence in those six areas:

1. Hire people who speak English as their primary language.

2. Get a Windows server from and login to it when you need to do something that requires a U.S. IP address. You will appear to be located in Texas… America’s heartland. You can also search for “hide my IP” or “paid proxy services” to find a cheaper alternative (like $8/month) that doesn’t require logging in to another server.

3. Get a .com domain name. They are available anywhere in the world. Don’t use your own country’s registars.

4. Add dollars as your primary currency in PayPal and set up all order buttons to use dollars.

5. Go to and find a UPS Store in the U.S. in a state where you want a virtual presence and order a mail box with a street address. Have them forward your mail. Alternatively go to and sign up for an account online. Use earth#40105 as a coupon code to get a free month of service after your first month.

6. Go to and get a telephone number in the U.S. You can choose the area code or even get a toll-free 800 number.

Establishing an American presence is very easy and gives you much more access to the American marketplace. Consider it if you want a successful Internet business while running it from a tropical island in the South Pacific ocean like I do!

For more information about running a successful Internet business, visit the author’s blog here:

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