Unfortunately too many European companies enter the US domestic market relying solely on their own in-house resources (with the idea to save money) and count heavily on a high percentage of DIY. They forget that DIY is a hobby, not a profession.
It is important to surround oneself with the expertise one does not possess – it is important ‘to know what you do not know’ and not to remain blissfully ignorant. For immigration issues use an Immigration Lawyer who can advise on the right choices between all the possible E’s, L’s, P’s, R’s, H-1B’s,… . For tax issues get a CPA on board who knows both the US and European legislation, and can help you steer clear from issues such as double taxation. For recruitment use a partner who understands the requirements of the European parent and the needs of the American candidate. Outsource when possible it will accelerate growth.
The same logic applies to the business development efforts, the concept of “I will learn as I go along” is flawed – you will learn all right but your potential partner or client will have little or no patience for your learning at their expense. They will take their business somewhere else and will not come back. Although it might be commendable to want to try it on your own – after all it is part of the entrepreneurial DNA – but it is bad business practice.
Focus on your strengths – complement your weaknesses.