3 Lessons U.S. Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Latin American Startup Culture

Starting a business in America is an increasingly popular way to make a living. Every month, hundreds of thousands of businesses are started across the country. Unfortunately, starting a business in America isn’t always easy. Very few small businesses will succeed, and those that do will often have to overcome a lot of challenges and potential roadblocks.

A big part of succeeding in business is learning. However, not only should you learn from your peers and other American businesses, but also businesses from around the world. For example, there is a lot that can be learned from Latin America startup culture and how they do things.

Whether you visit Professional Hispano or another resource, or speak to entrepreneurs directly, expanding your horizons is a great way to improve your business. With that in mind, let’s go over some lessons that American entrepreneurs could learn from the startup culture in Latin America.

The Importance of Bootstrapping

When you are just starting out in your business, money is often hard to come by. As a result, many American companies will look to borrow money when they can. Sure, this is the quickest way to get money, but isn’t always the best. Instead of defaulting to borrowing money, it is wise to take after Latin American companies and bootstrap your business.

Bootstrapping is all about building your company yourself, without any outside funding or investment. It allows you to retain full control of your company, and focus on the customers, not investors. Many Latin American companies get off the ground by bootstrapping themselves and starting out as efficiently as possible. If you are smart about your product and selling, and taking your time, bootstrapping is generally possible if costs are kept low.

Instead of focusing on the end goal and trying to get there as quick as possible through investment, slow things down and bootstrap your company for a while. It won’t be easy, but the easy road isn’t always the best.

Adaptability is Key

Another lesson that many American companies can learn from their Latin American counterparts is about adaptability. Being able to expand into new markets or change your offerings to meet different customer demand is very important. This is often tough as many American companies don’t take into account things like language barriers, cultural barriers or other potential challengers.

However, because Latin America is full of small markets throughout the region, they essentially need to build adaptability into their company early. These companies need to be well equipped at making products and services that are viable and understood across various different countries in most cases.

If your company cannot adapt to changing needs or preferences, you will be left in the dust by companies that can. Be sure to educate yourself about the potential challenges of adapting to a new market, and use this knowledge to learn how to best adapt.

The Ability to Be Resilient

As a business owner, you need to be resilient. Unfortunately, if a lot of American business owners fail, they may be reluctant to try again for fear of it happening again. However, in Latin America, this isn’t often the case. Many successful Latin entrepreneurs had a few failures under their belt before eventually succeeding. They have a lot of determination, and are willing to take major risks to achieve what they want.

While some Americans have this resilient gene, many are simply afraid to try again as failure is often deemed as a negative in America. While it isn’t great, there are always lessons to be learned from every experience, even the closing of a business.

From the importance of bootstrapping to the need for resilience, there is a lot your small business can learn from the startup culture in Latin America. They can all contribute to a more successful and profitable company that will be able to stand the test of time.

Fabrizio VanMarcino