Single-Market Madness

Prolific blogger Dennis Howlett is one of the founders (and Chief Strategist) of a new Internet-based service called FreeAgent Central. The company helps contractors, freelancers, consultants, and small businesses keep track of time-based billing, invoicing, taxes, and so on.

Prolific blogger Dennis Howlett is one of the founders (and Chief Strategist) of a new Internet-based service called FreeAgent Central. The company helps contractors, freelancers, consultants, and small businesses keep track of time-based billing, invoicing, taxes, and so on. It seems like a great idea, except for one major oversight: the service is available strictly to UK-based customers.

I really don’t get this at all: why would anyone market an Internet-based company to only a single country? It just makes no sense.

Now, don’t even think of jumping all over me, screaming in my ear, “But the accounting rules are different in other countries!” Of course they’re different. But the underlying time, billing, and related financial issues facing small companies are virtually identical in New York, San Francisco, Berlin, and London. And in Novosibirsk and Melbourne as well. Besides, who in their right mind turns their back on the US, which is the world’s largest market? Yeah, there are some incremental development and marketing costs, but you get a huge market opportunity in return.

So, guys, wake up and smell the US dollars. You’ve got a great product, so don’t hobble yourselves by creating the impression of being small and parochial in your outlook.

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