A country of five million people compared to a country of 350 million people.

The difference is staggering.

Tackling the US market from Finland can be daunting. Size aside, it’s an aggressive, demanding and extremely competitive market. It’s also chock full of powerful, efficient and highly lucrative opportunities.

Newer Amcham member company Carus has always been mindful of the advantages that the US market could provide them. As a specialized IT solution service for ferry operators, they have been in business since 1999 with their headquarters located in the Åland Islands of Finland.

A little over a year ago , the world’s longest ferry route, the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS), chose Carus to provide its booking, ticketing, departure control and administrative functions in the North American market. The deal accelerated the need for more close-knit and local presence, resulting in a support office in Seattle.

According to Inka Huttunen, Vice President of Carus, the US has been a strategic growth market for Carus for a long time. She warns that it’s imperative to do your research first – know the services, products, clients and competitors.

But what else? What’s the secret ingredient to success abroad?

Two words: local partnerships.

Get your feet wet in the local market by establishing local partnerships. These local hubs in the US operate very differently compared to those in Finland, and using that knowledge can be exponentially advantageous for your business.

“My advice for a company planning to go to the American market would be to use a local recruiting company and an outsourced HR,” said Huttunen.

Mike Klyszeiko, Director of Amcham’s Launchpad USA program, also agrees. That’s why he pushed to open an Amcham NYC office last year.

“Having a person on the ground in NY is essential for better knowing the companies’ needs, numbers and goals to better connect with Finnish companies,” said Klyszeiko.

Whether or not your company has plans to take the leap across the Atlantic in the near future, it’s worth considering the network, time and money-saving benefits that a local partnership can offer you.

After all, we’re all gunning for the same goal: a successful landing abroad.