- About TradeSherpa
- Your Account and Your US Business Roadmap
- Your Company Information
- Your Sherpa Team
- Your Subscription
All of our plans are pay-as-you go plans (meaning you pay each month, and the payment is automatically renewed until you decide to cancel your subscription).
However, when you subscribe to the Expansion plan for the first time, this is an initial 3-month commitment (and your plan becomes pay-as-you-go after the 3rd month). Based on our experience, this is the typical timeframe that companies require to think through their US project and start interacting with Sherpas before they can dive into implementation. As we would advise our clients against rushing their decisions, we have decided to make this 3-month commitment mandatory, putting your interest on top of our priorities.
- The Free Plan offers our users the ability to test TradeSherpa’s platform and to get a good understanding of the benefits they could get by accessing additional features. It will provide you with a high-level US business roadmap that is customized to your company’s profile and expansion project, which is a good starting point. You can then decide if you want to pursue your project by yourself, or if you want to upgrade.
- The Expansion Plan is ideal for companies who are looking for more structure and who need some Sherpas at their side. Situations range from export, entity creation, M&A (for foreign companies), or search for specific experts (for companies already settled in the USA). The plan includes: a detailed, customized US business roadmap, a list of recommended Sherpas at each step of this roadmap, an ability to compare and to contact Sherpas, a 1-hour call with TradeSherpa to get direct support, and how-to guides to manage implementation. Typical expansion projects take 3 months for proper planning, so we ask you to subscribe for an initial 3-month period at $59/month; you can then continue to use the platform on a month-to-month basis to access new Sherpas, new contents, new tools, and a new roadmap.
- The Sherpa Premium Plan provides white-glove services for companies operating complex projects in the USA like a US-flip, or a US-based company’s overhaul. The plan includes: all features from the Expansion plan (but with unlimited revisions to your roadmap), an ongoing 1-on-1 analysis of your US project and its adjustments (with 5 hours of direct support from TradeSherpa per month, on top of Sherpa services), ongoing coaching and training on various business challenges, and hands-on coordination with Sherpas. You will get a dedicated account manager, as well as the ability to request additional services (e.g. business plan build-up). This plan starts at $599/month.
See also: What if my US project changes?
TradeSherpa is a decision-making tool that helps international companies expand to / in the USA. Unlike traditional consultants, we offer the convenience of a powerful digital tool to plan and control US expansion projects, while keeping a strong human dimension by connecting clients with vetted and dedicated Sherpas to guide them along their way.
Years of experience providing consulting services to such companies led us to identify 2 flaws in the traditional consulting approach: 1) CEOs and their teams spend a lot of time, energy, and money trying to collect information and connect with the right advisors and experts, only to find themselves misled, misunderstood, and drained; and 2) a structured and consistent approach to the USA is often only available to companies that have a significant budget, while other companies have to take a tedious DIY approach.
With TradeSherpa, international companies considering expansion to the USA, already developing their business in the USA, or looking to revamp their US business organization and operations can find exactly what they are looking for in one place: custom US business roadmaps to make informed decisions, a convenient toolbox to manage implementation, and direct access to the exact experts (“Sherpas”) they need at each step.
TradeSherpa typically addresses the needs of CEOs, CFOs, and local US branch managers. Situations can vary depending on the company’s progress towards US expansion.
- Companies considering US expansion: They have no business in the USA yet but they have identified opportunities, or they do have some US leads or clients (export) suggesting market interest. Their goal is to understand & anticipate.
- Companies who have decided to make the move to the USA: They have clients and vetted partners in the USA; they now want to create or to acquire a US entity to better manage and grow their business locally. Their goal is to plan & structure.
- Companies with existing US operations looking to manage growth in the USA: They need to restructure the US entity, adjust operations, or switch to new experts and partners to keep up with growth and implement new strategies. Their goal is to recalibrate & optimize.
TradeSherpa’s founders have worked many years with international companies (SMBs as well as large cap companies) expanding to the USA, helping over 200 clients manage both planning and implementation. They thus acquired a deep knowledge and experience that led them to build a platform that meets companies’ specific profiles, projects scope and constraints, priorities, and questions. They know that companies need to carefully plan while remaining flexible at each step given the sophistication of US expansion projects. TradeSherpa’s US business roadmaps, Sherpas, and US Toolbox have been prepared with that consideration in mind.
Regarding Sherpas, they all go through a rigorous vetting process, and they are matched with the companies they will serve best. TradeSherpa is not a marketplace, and we know each Sherpa very well – in fact, we have worked closely with most of them in the past. They are qualified for US expansion projects, equipped with a wealth of experience with international companies and a tailored skillset for each step and module of the roadmap we assign to them. Most of all, they have the TradeSherpa spirit, which is to put clients’ interest above their own.
In order to access an Expansion Plan or a Sherpa Premium Plan, we recommend that you use TradeSherpa’s platform and pay by credit card (please refer to our Pricing page). You will get immediate access to your account, features, and benefits upon payment.
Other methods of payment (e.g. wire transfer) seem too pricey due to international transaction fees, and they would delay your access to your account, features, and benefits considerably. We do not recommend them.
Yes. All online payments are processed by Authorize.net, a US-based payment getaway service provider founded in 1996 and now a subsidiary of Visa Inc. PCI-compliant, Authorize.net meets the data security standards developed by the major card brands in the world. Also, they have received many awards for their customer service: thanks to their 24/7 available support, fixing issues can be done on the spot.
Your subscription will be renewed automatically each month, so that you can maintain ininterrupted access to all features and benefits offered by your plan. If you wish to upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your subscription, please simply log into your TradeSherpa account and manage your subscription from your dashboard or ‘My Profile’ tab.
Absolutely. TradeSherpa is neither a marketplace nor a social media platform. The only people who have access to your profile are yourself and TradeSherpa’s employees (for administrative and support purposes).
We will not disclose your company information to third parties other than those involved in technical management or those you specifically request to assist you with your US project (Sherpas).
If you decide to work with Sherpas, you will have the option to send them your “brief” (the answers to the questionnaire that you complete to generate your roadmap). These answers, in addition to your email address, will be the only information that we will share with the Sherpas you have selected as recipients of your brief. All Sherpas sign a non-disclosure agreement with TradeSherpa, so that your information is kept safe.
You will have 6 tabs in your account:
- ‘My Dashboard’ tab will provide an overview of your account, with helpful notifications, a summary of your US business roadmap and recommended actions, and a selection of relevant articles
- ‘My Brief’ tab will let you take the TradeSherpa questionnaire (if not completed yet), or, depending on your subscription plan, to re-take it if you need to make any adjustments. This questionnaire is mandatory to get your US business roadmap.
- ‘My US Roadmap’ tab will provide you with a detailed, custom US business roadmap, with aspects such as action items, timeline, and budget (note: as mentioned above, you need to take the brief first). You can keep track of your progress through your roadmap, and you can send your brief to Sherpas directly through this tab when you need them.
- ‘My Sherpa Team’ tab will provide you with a recap of the Sherpas we recommend at each step of your US business roadmap so that you can anticipate talking points with your Sherpas.
- ‘My Toolbox’ tab will offer you recommended articles and tools that will guide you at each step of your US business roadmap. You can organize your library and save items as you go.
Your US business roadmap can be used as follows:
- Get the big picture as well as details of your US expansion project at any time. You can see the overarching steps, milestones, detailed modules, and action items suggested for your project, as well as a corresponding budget and timeline estimates.
- Track and manage your progress. You can mark modules as completed as you go; you then get information on next steps and the Sherpas you will need at your side, as well as the articles and tools to understand the “why” and the “how”.
- Communicate with your team and hire wisely. You will be able to define what can be achieved by your internal team, and what will be completed with the help of Sherpas. Your US business roadmap will serve as a basis for communicating all your needs to Sherpas very clearly and to challenge them – no time wasted!
Yes, but the number of times you will be allowed to do it depends on your subscription plan.
- Free Plan: You can re-take the questionnaire and thus have a new US business roadmap only once.
- Expansion Plan: You can re-take the questionnaire and thus have a new US business roadmap twice. Additional editing options will be granted on a case-by-case basis, and you will need to contact us.
- Sherpa Premium Plan: There is no limit for taking the questionnaire and generating new US roadmaps.
Your Sherpa Team (recommended Sherpas for your specific project and US business roadmap) will automatically be edited.
Please note that if you wish to generate a new US business roadmap, you will have to re-take the entire questionnaire. We are currently working on a new version that will make quick edits available to our users!
Upon creating your TradeSherpa account, you will be asked to take a questionnaire (est. 3 to 5 minutes to complete). This questionnaire is mandatory to generate your custom US business roadmap.
Later in the process, you may want to contact Sherpas to help you implement the various steps, modules, and action items listed on your US business roadmap. If you decide to contact a Sherpa (or several Sherpas), we will communicate the information from the questionnaire to that Sherpa: this is the “brief” we will present to the Sherpa so that he / she can understand your needs and prepare solutions before your initial interaction. It helps save time and get more organized from the beginning.
This questionnaire has been carefully prepared so that we can prevent many issues that occur in traditional consulting work. With TradeSherpa, you save time on presenting your needs to Sherpas, you have a full and clear picture of what needs to be done, you can focus on priorities with Sherpas as well as challenge them, you are put in touch with the right Sherpas at the right time, and you can control your budget and timeline.
We offer a 1-hour call with TradeSherpa to all Expansion users (and it goes up to 5 hours per month for Sherpa Premium users) once they have completed their brief and have access to their roadmap.
Why? Our online platform is powerful, and your account will give you access to a lot of information: your US business roadmap, your recommended Sherpas, your US toolbox, etc. However, you still may have questions before you finalize your decisions and contact the Sherpas you need. We are here to help! This 1-hour call will be dedicated to validating that all steps and modules covered by your US business roadmap fit your US expansion project, to answer any questions you may have, and to provide you with some tips and guidance on how to start implementation.
Please note that this call will be conducted by our internal team, who is accustomed to discussing your US project as a whole and to understand its dynamics (the big picture). Subsequent interactions with specific Sherpas (eg. lawyers, accountants, 3PLs, marketing agencies, etc.) will happen at your discretion and are not part of your plan.
You can schedule a call once you have completed your brief and have access to your US business roadmap (Expansion + Sherpa Premium plans). To schedule a call, please go to the ‘Dashboard’ tab of your account and click on ‘Schedule a Call’. You will then be able to send us an email, and tell us what day and time is best to reach you.
Please take time zones into consideration: the TradeSherpa team is located on the US East Coast (EST, GMT-5).
You cannot add your own Sherpa to the ‘Sherpa Team’ tab of your account in the current version of our software.
Why? We focus on providing the exact list of Sherpas that will match your needs at each step of your US business roadmap, based on your US project and your company’s structure and goals. Our matching process is very rigorous, and we have vetted each Sherpa that we recommend. Your Sherpa Team thus lists the best Sherpas that we can recommend for you.
So what do I do? Of course, if you want to work with an expert who is not listed as a Sherpa on our platform, you can do it, and you should do it – if you really trust this expert and / or have already worked with him / her. If there any issues arise down the road, you can refer to your Sherpa Team at any time and contact the Sherpas that we have recommended for you!
In most cases, your US business roadmap will be enough to plan and implement your US expansion. Indeed, the information it provides will be of tremendous value to international companies, whether they are considering expanding, are making the move, or are already doing business in the USA.
However, some companies and projects may require an even more sophisticated and detailed business roadmap. You may need to get very specific details per US state, for instance, to compare scenarios among multiple options (e.g. virtual office versus export versus entity creation) with a granular estimation of costs, etc. In order to build a comprehensive business plan like that, please contact us directly to discuss your needs and get a quote.
We have so much to share about doing business in the USA and managing US expansion projects! We are constantly working on developing new how-to guides, checklists, and tools (spreadsheets, cost simulators, etc.) to provide the most relevant and up-to-date equipment to help companies throughout their journey in the USA. Come back each month to check your updated Toolbox, and find out what’s been cooking since your last visit. We guarantee you that all resources are made in-house; we left the copy-paste-aggregate low-value activity to other industry players.
As soon as you complete your brief and access your US business roadmap, you get immediate access (or a preview, if you have a free account) to the Sherpas we recommend for you at each step, saving time on partner search and avoiding poor hires (how convenient is that, huh?).
You can bet that this access does not come out of the blue. We have worked for years to match international companies with US-expert Sherpas, carefully identifying the criteria that have allowed us to devise great matches down the road. Today, all the hard work that we have done manually has been converted into an automatized tool: that’s how powerful our platform is.
– And don’t worry, we will always keep an eye on the Sherpas listed on your Sherpa Team before you attempt to contact them, as we do not believe that robots can replace smart human beings –
So, what about these criteria?
You will get a sense of them when taking the brief, and we believe that you will understand why we ask you to go through a questionnaire. However, we cannot disclose our secret recipe; it’s our knowledge and experience that has helped us build the algorithm and pave the way for future improvements, and we intend to keep leading the way!
All Sherpas go through a rigorous vetting process before they become Sherpas for TradeSherpa.
We have no hesitation kicking a Sherpa out if he or she does not abide by our values: listening to clients, putting clients’ interests first, providing proactive and clear guidance at each step, being transparent on service fees, and delivering high-value services within clients’ budget constraints.
Besides proving that they have the TradeSherpa spirit, Sherpas need to demonstrate:
- Robust experience working with foreign companies expanding to the USA, demonstrating hands-on knowledge and cultural agility
- Appetite for guiding and servicing SMBs
- Expert skills in their field, backed by clients’ and other Sherpas’ recommendations
- Ability to collaborate with other Sherpas effectively (we hate communication limbos and siloes)
- Business ethics and quality processes, so that clients can easily track and control progress as well as results
- Specific value-add: languages, expertise on specific US regions or states, etc.
Absolutely. At each step of your roadmap, TradeSherpa provides you with 2 to 4 suggestions of Sherpas that match your company’s unique profile, budget, and project needs. You can then review their profile, and decide to contact them all, or to contact only your favorites.
TradeSherpa is in charge of making the introduction between you and the Sherpa of your choice once you are ready to contact him or her. The Sherpa will then schedule a phone call or an e-call (e.g. Skype) with you directly. If you are happy with that first interaction and you decide to work with the Sherpa, then you will pursue the process directly with the Sherpa: discussion on terms, signature of the agreement, and beginning of the collaboration.
Please remember that TradeSherpa is not a party of the contract between you and the Sherpa. TradeSherpa’s mission is to facilitate the matching and introduction process, but we do not interfere with the Sherpa’s services.
Of course, we will follow-up with you to make sure that you are happy with the services delivered by the Sherpa. Also, don’t forget that a phone call with TradeSherpa is included in your plan, so you can ask us questions, request to look for another Sherpa, or provide us with feedback on your collaboration with the Sherpa if needed.
Basically, you should contact them whenever you are ready. Your US business roadmap provides you with a timeline for each step and each module to help you assess when it is best for you to contact Sherpas; you then decide. Some companies will want to talk to Sherpas very early in the process to make sure they have everything under control and to get organized ahead of time; other companies will rather decide to contact them as they progress through their US business roadmap.
Since you will have to digest a lot of information as you start implementing your US project (and to connect many dots!), we recommend that you do not wait until the last minute, of course.
Looking at your US business roadmap, you will see an estimation of fees for each step and module, specifying whether these fees correspond to monthly expenses (recurring fees), or to one-shot expenses (flat fees). This budget estimate is based on our experience working with the Sherpas we recommend for you and your company, so there should be no surprises.
Make sure that all the information you provide in the “brief” is correct in order to get accurate estimates.
Make sure that you get all the information you need to validate upcoming expenses with your Sherpas before you sign a contract. Your US business roadmap will help you check that everything has been covered and will be kept under control.
Of course, if you notice a significant discrepancy between the estimates we provide on your US business roadmap and your Sherpa’s proposal, please contact us. We value your feedback, and we’ll be happy to look into the matter or find another Sherpa if needed.
Since you will be working directly with the Sherpa, and since TradeSherpa is not a party of the contract between you and the Sherpa, the Sherpa will in most cases bill you directly.
Sometimes, the Sherpa may ask TradeSherpa to bill you on his or her behalf for convenience purposes. We will proceed accordingly of course.
Regarding payment methods, Sherpas usually request wire transfers or online payments.
Note: If you intend to pay Sherpas using wire transfer, you may find Transfermate useful for international payments. Transfermate, an Ireland-based company awarded by top companies, enables you to make automated international wire transfers using the internet, with better exchange rates and lower bank transfer fees than traditional wire transfer options. The solution is simple for you, and it does not require any legwork from your Sherpa, so we recommend that you check it out.
TradeSherpa’s revenue consists of online subscriptions and commissions on Sherpas’ rendered services. We commit to being fully transparent and fair regarding our processes.
- Online subscriptions: We derive part of our revenue from monthly subscriptions (Expansion and Sherpa Premium plans).
- Commissions on rendered services: We earn 10% commissions on Sherpas’ revenue for services rendered to TradeSherpa’s users (except for Sherpas who are members of a regulated profession), up to 12 months after a contract has been signed. We do not discriminate, meaning that this commissions amount is the same for all Sherpas. Also, our US business roadmaps have been built to match companies with Sherpas that are well suited to meet their needs and their specific budget constraints; we will not push any Sherpa on our clients if we believe he / she is not calibrated to your needs. We do not receive commissions from Sherpas who are members of a regulated profession.
We can also perform specific services internally for our users, upon request (e.g. custom cost simulator, business plan, etc.). In that situation, the value of such services will be discussed directly with our users.
- If you are a non-US company, you have nothing to file for the USA. Some European countries do not require any form pertaining to your collaboration with Sherpas in the USA, but we recommend that you check tax regulations pertaining to your home country, be it in Europe or on other continents.
- If you are a US company (or have a US entity) and if you want Sherpas to bill you in the USA, don’t forget to ask them a W-9 form so that your accounting department can comply with US tax regulations. It applies to LLCs, LLPs, and freelancers or independent contractors.
You will of course receive an invoice for all Sherpa services rendered and billed, whether the Sherpas bill you directly, or whether TradeSherpa bills you on Sherpa’s behalf.
Yes, you can contact TradeSherpa directly. We are all human beings, located in the USA, and striving to help you succeed!
You will have 2 options to contact the team:
- 1st option = Talk to us during the call that is included in your plan (for Expansion and Sherpa Premium plans). It will be a great opportunity to review your US business roadmap together, answer your questions, and get you off to a good start for implementing your US project. Simply log into your account once you have completed your brief and have access to your US business roadmap, then click on the ‘Schedule a Call’ button from your dashboard, and let us know when you wish to talk.
- 2nd option = Contact us through the ‘Feedback & Contact’ tab of your account, which will allow you to share your request. We’ll then get back to you, ready to discuss your challenges!
Talk to you soon!