Author: Skyler H. Hathaway
Picture yourself in an airport. This is the first time you’ve been in an airport and you’re going to Paramaribo, a little city in the South American country of Suriname. You’ve got some distant relatives there, but you’re not completely sure how they’ll relate to you. You don’t know where you’re going to stay yet, you don’t know what the country looks like, you’ve never met your distant relatives, you’ve made no plans, and you don’t even speak the native tongue, which you’re sure is going to cause problems of it’s own. The entire purpose of the trip is to accept a job opportunity that has opened itself to you in Paramaribo, Suriname. This job opportunity is time sensitive and closes itself up if you can’t make it to Paramaribo today. So here you are, in a place you’ve never been, about to go to a place even more confusing and with no plans, no ideas, nothing but your suitcase, the clothes on your back, a ticket to ride, and the ambition to be successful. You don’t even know how to get through the airport to reach your boarding gate. There is just too much “noise” that is keeping you from focussing on what to do first and where to go from there.
What do you do?
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was someone to help you throughout the entire process? Starting from entering the airport all the way to getting you to your job opportunity, they would book hotels, contact your relatives, walk you through security, translate, and plan a few sights for you to visit during your time in this new country. This person would do everything for you that you need done in order to be successful and seize your opportunity. Metaphorically speaking, this person is Lemonsqueeze.
Mik Stroyberg, CEO of Lemonsqueeze, was once tasked with figuring out what an expansion plan would consist of for a company that wanted to enter and scale in the U.S. Mik knew nothing about marketing and scaling in the U.S. What he did know was the end goal for this company, which was to increase traffic and, therefore, increase revenue. He knew how to create partnerships and establish relationships, but the U.S. was a completely different culture from the one he’d been practiced in. Mik came up with a traction plan and flew to New York with ambitious goals and a need to create success. What he found out was that a simple traction plan was not enough to successfully enter and scale in the U.S. market. Sure, there were people there that could point him in a general direction, but no one to point him in the right direction. There were just too many unknown elements to account for and far too much “noise” to deal with. There were lawyers, accountants, immigration reps, tax reps, and a slew of other people Mik had to talk to, but even after creating a road map based on those conversations, Mik was still unable to perfect a process that could be scaleable. Mik didn’t know in what order he should tackle this project and so, he was lost in the “noise.” The experience was entirely difficult and exhausting. It was only after 2 years that Mik was finally able to reach his goal.
His pilgrimage turned a lot of heads. Companies started to contact Mik about how exactly he managed to enter and scale a company into the U.S. Using Mik’s research, insights, and plans, these companies were able to do what Mik did, but a half a year faster than Mik. They learned from the mistakes he made and utilized the structure which he suggested in order to expedite the process. It was initially based on these inquiries that Mik realized he could create an industry based on this process: foreign market expansion. He wanted to build something that was universal. Using his free time, (while being fully employed) he built a process that would efficiently take companies to new markets fast, with low risk and high impact.
The creation of this process took 1 year. It was initially meant to streamline the entrance and scaling of a company from 6 months to 3. He realized over the course of his pilgrimage that 80% of the time he spent in New York was “noise,” just excess steps and information that had no value. His goal with the new process was to cut that “noise” down as much as possible so that the only reason a company wouldn’t successfully enter and scale in a new market would be in scenarios beyond just the issue of starting up. The year it took Mik to create a repeatable process involved continually changing ideas, various timeline trials, and taking away all the unnecessary “noise” that people thought was necessary in the foreign market entry process. Taking learnings from mistakes that other companies had made as opposed to focusing on their successes helped trim down the “noise.” Mik tried out 50 test cases in order to see how each company should enter and how long it would take for each of them to enter. Each case was from a different industry so that Mik could learn, from a broad standpoint, what it would take to perfect this process to the point of the simple “plug n’ play.” He wanted a universal solution.
The result of this was what would eventually be called Lemonsqueeze. The name Lemonsqueeze was chosen because of it’s cultural ties to both Europe and the U.S. In Europe, squeezing a lemon means to try to get more out of something that you deserve or taking things too far. In the U.S., squeezing a lemon is associated with the act of creating something sweet out of something sour. Lemonsqueeze combined the two cultural references in order to make sure companies don’t underestimate or devalue themselves just because they don’t think they can achieve expansion into foreign markets. Instead, Lemonsqueeze wants to help companies squeeze the lemon and get the most out of their current potential. Lemonsqueeze deals with the sour “noise” and leaves the sweet juice for companies to make lemonade, or successfully scale and enter a new market.
Lemonsqueeze wants to become the bridge between all foreign market entry and be the only name associated with getting the most out of a company’s potential. Lemonsqueeze is the “noise” canceler. Don’t worry about forgetting to check your baggage, losing your passport, or not being able to understand the native dialect because that is what Lemonsqueeze is here for. Lemonsqueeze wants to see you unlock your true potential without being hindered by the entry difficulties that exist. Lemonsqueeze looks at the market potential of a company, tells them where we think they should enter first, what they could get out of it, how much time it would take, how much money it would cost, and how they could maintain focus on their business while doing it. So if you’re standing in that airport with no clue as to how to get from point A to point B, Lemonsqueeze would be happy to be your guide to success in Paramaribo.