In brand new facilities in Svenljunga, ULMA AB produces pellets incinerators and relating components. From total production, about 80 percent of their throughput is exported, and the U.S. is a major market. Through Ecoex, part of Business Region Gothenburg, and the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, ULMA AB came in contact with a business lawyer who proved essential to close the deal with the U.S. retailer.
Many businesses can testify to the need for extensive contracts and major paper work to enter the American market. A good business lawyer can make or break the expansion across the atlantics.
“Through Ecoex and SACC’s connections we came in contact with a Swedish business lawyer that lives and works in North Carolina. She is highly competent and it is a great advantage that she speaks both Swedish and English. When it comes to contracts everything has to be correct and it is important that you understand every term fully”, says Martin Karlsson, CEO at ULMA. ”Without her help there probably wouldn’t have been a deal with the U.S.”, continues Martin Karlsson.
The journey towards the American market started by attending a conference in the U.S. An American retailer within heating visited the ULMA booth and later came to visit their factory in Svenljunga, Sweden. The retailer saw huge potential for selling pellets incinerators to house owners in northern America. Not least due the environmental benefits through minimal emissions and high rate of efficiency. The incinerator went through further development and the American retailer chose to use it for heating its own facilities during one year before introducing it on the U.S. market.
“Through a license agreement they now produce the incinerator in Minnesota, while we manufacture the pellet fuel burner that is installed in the incinerator. This year we have delivered 210 pellet fuel burners. We have a 5 year plan and will continue to grow every year. The reseller is well-renowned in the U.S., but also in Canada, and hence we see big opportunities to grow through their contact network”, says Martin Karlsson.
Martin Karlsson’s prime advices for making it in America:
- Attend conferences to establish a network of contacts and get direct response to your product.
- Find a retailer in the U.S. that thoroughly know your industry and uses the marketing and distribution channels.
- Use a good business lawyer. Preferably a Swedish-American who is familiar with both business cultures.
- Set a long term plan for how you would like to expand in the American market.