5 Common Mistakes US Startups Make When Entering Israel

5 Common Mistakes US Startups Make When Entering the Israeli Market

The US market is flooded with their startups. As such, enterprising entrepreneurs are looking to overseas markets to make their millions. Many have set their sights on Israel. Below, we explore why that is and point out five common mistakes that US startups should avoid when entering the Israeli market.

Statistics and Facts of New Businesses in the US 2022

There are more than 70,000 active startups in the US in 2022. This proliferation of new business has its roots in former President Barack Obama’s “Startup America” program, launched in 2011. Through the Small Business Administration, the program administrated $2 billion worth of funding to promote high-growth entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs looking to swerve this market saturation are increasingly turning to dynamic markets in other countries. One that is capturing many startup founders’ attention is Israel.

Why Israel Is the Best Country to Expand Your Business (Common Mistakes)

Israel offers economic strength, a skilled, creative workforce, and a welcoming environment for US businesses. Its gross domestic product grew by 8.1% in 2021 and its fiscal policies support growth. Thanks to Israel’s startup culture, the country already has many ties with US companies, with US firms accounting for almost two-thirds of the 300+ research and development centers that multinational companies have established in Israel.

Environments don’t get much more welcoming. That said, expanding into a new market always has pitfalls, even for businesses with robust business growth strategies. With that in mind, here are five common mistakes to avoid when entering the Israeli startup scene.

1. Failing to Do Research on the Israeli Market

Common Mistakes: Market research is fundamental to any new venture, whether it’s launching a new product in your domestic market or a whole new venture overseas. The Israeli market differs from the US market, so you need to undertake market research to understand your target customers, their shopping habits, their appetite for your products, and the landscape in terms of competition. Fail to undertake appropriate market research and you’re setting yourself up to fail.

2. Not Translating Your Online Presence in the Hebrew Language

Common Mistakes: Launching your startup in Israel means you will need a Hebrew translation company on your side. Engaging a high-quality Hebrew translation service will provide you with the skills to connect online with your target audience.

When you translate a document from English to Hebrew, it’s about more than language. It’s also about respecting cultural nuances, delivering linguistic quirks such as jokes and idioms correctly, and taking care of practical details such as currency and date format conversion.

Professional Hebrew translation services can help with all of this, supporting you to deliver an online presence that’s an immediate winner in the eyes of your new potential customers. We’ve seen examples of this time and again, where firms have used translation well to get ahead.

3. Having No Multilingual SEO Strategy

Common Mistakes: Hebrew translation services aren’t only useful for website translation. They can also support you with developing a multilingual SEO strategy. Doing so is another essential step in successfully engaging with the Israeli marketplace.

Like it or not, SEO can make or break your brand when it comes to launching in a new country. Simply using a Hebrew translation company to convert keyword research you’ve undertaken for the US market isn’t enough – you need to use Hebrew translation services or native Israeli SEO specialists to help you undertake SEO research specific to that target market.

4. Forgetting to Create a CX Mapping

Common Mistakes: Another common mistake that US startups make when entering the Israeli market not creating a CX mapping. Mapping the CX journey means walking in the customer’s shoes as they engage with the various touch points your business provides, whether online, offline, or omnichannel. Again, undertaking this in only the US isn’t sufficient – you need to do it for each market you enter.

5. No Strategy for Your Target Market’s Cultural Preferences

Common Mistakes: Entrepreneurs need a keen sense of cultural understanding if they want to succeed overseas. As such, you’ll need a strategy in place for understanding Israeli customers’ cultural preferences and expectations when you launch your startup in Israel. From which holidays it would be crass to discount goods to those where offers are expected (along with a whole range of other cultural preferences), you will again need to undertake thorough research if you want to maximize your chances of success.

Final Thoughts – Common Mistakes

Scaling a business is about far more than simply finding funding for your startup, then adding staff and opening offices overseas. As we’ve shown above, it’s about developing a keen cultural understanding, paying attention to the linguistic landscape, and undertaking thorough research, from your target market to your keywords. By avoiding the common mistakes above, you will find yourself in a stronger position when it comes to establishing your US startup in Israel.


Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

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