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An Exporter’s Checklist for Expanding into New Markets Overseas
May 30, 2017 Elizabeth Thomas, Business Development Specialist, Office of Small Business
EXIM Bank recently released an eBook for small and medium-sized companies that want to grow their international sales. Here are the highlights.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 96.5 percent of all U.S. manufacturing exporters are small and mid-size businesses (SMBs). Of these, more than half export to only one country, most commonly Canada, leaving a tremendous market of untapped opportunity. Much of this opportunity will be in Asia, where it is projected that by 2030, an expanding middle class will account for 59 percent of worldwide middle class consumption.

Developing relationships now with an eye toward establishing a presence in the near future may position your company strongly against the competition. Here are some things to consider when expanding into new markets or finding new customers in existing territories:

  • Am I maximizing my export revenue?
  • Do I currently reach of the markets I’ve targeted?
  • I’ve researched new markets, how do I penetrate them effectively?
  • What resources do I need to succeed in growing my export base and how can I find them?
  • How do I find capital to help me grow my export business and fulfill international orders?

Thankfully, there are many resources that can help with these questions. When thinking about new markets, the International Trade Administration (ITA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce provides a wealth of information on their website - Additionally, if you are looking for in-country distributions or agents, the U.S. Department of Commerce provides the Gold Key matching service, which arranges and facilitates face-to-face meetings with pre-screened, potential buyers, sales representatives and potential business partners in the specific geography.

Now that you’ve identified potential partners, there are some financial considerations:

  • How do I find capital to help me grow my export business and fulfill international orders?
  • How do I get protect my business from nonpayment by foreign buyers?

EXIM is a valuable resource for small and medium-sized exporters who need cash to fulfill international orders and need to protect those orders from the risk of nonpayment by international buyers. Export credit insurance (ECI) is a tool that empowers companies to offer credit terms to foreign buyers while also mitigating the risk of nonpayment. ECI covers the amount of a company’s foreign receivables up to 95 percent, giving business owners peace of mind as their companies expand into new markets. Working capital loan guarantees from EXIM enable businesses to improve their cash flow, providing the capital needed to fulfill orders from international buyers. Together, finding new business partners and offering them credit terms while protecting your business assets is a powerful combination for success.

Want to learn more? Download An Exporter's Checklist for Expanding into New Markets and call for a FREE consultation today!

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EXIM’s Blog postings are intended to highlight various facets of exporting, but the postings are not legal advice, and are not intended to summarize all legal requirements associated with exporting.