Skip Navigation
5 Ways to Generate Leads for Small Businesses
September 05, 2017 Office of Small Business

Small businesses owners face similar challenges when looking to grow their business whether it’s being short on cash flow, dealing with high turnover, or not generating enough leads to win new business. We’re  here to help solve the latter problem – lead generation. Now, it’s been proven by industry thought leaders and market studies that it’s more cost effective to keep your current customers happy than focusing on acquiring new ones, but we still wanted to identify ways to generate leads (both domestic and international leads) in order to keep a healthy (and automatic) pipeline of leads coming into your business.

Here are the five ways to help generate leads:

  1. Create a blog

Every business is created because it solves someone’s need or want. And a website is one of the best ways to explain your solution to that need or want.  Therefore, writing fresh blog content on a weekly basis on topics similar or surrounding your brand creates credibility and search engines will start ranking your website based on keyword searches – what’s called “Search Engine Optimization (SEO)”. As people begin googling their need or want, they may end up on your website, click around, and purchase your product. Click here to read more about SEO.

  1. Invest in a marketing automation system

Currently, there are free marketing tools that can help a business improve several areas of their marketing execution (i.e., emails, landing pages, and social media). Take a look at the marketing automation system options we’ve detailed here.

  1. Contact your local U.S. Commercial Service rep

The U.S Commercial Service is part of the Department of Commerce. This group has vast knowledge concerning how to expand abroad including setting up foreign delegation meetings at trade shows, pre-screening potential international buyers and getting your business listed to in the U.S. Export Directory called FUSE.

  1. Establish relationships with your partners

Establishing relationships with partners can be critical as many businesses rely heavily on them as their biggest source of lead generation. Your partners can be local or foreign; however, it’s always important to research you partners, start out with pilot tests and visit your partners’ facility or space (especially if it’s an international partner) before committing long-term. Click here to find out how to pick the perfect foreign sales rep/partner abroad.

  1. Modify Your Website

A businesses website must be maintained and updated on a regular basis. If you’re looking to generate more international leads, look to utilize consultants to translate your pages. In addition, if you’re looking to make your website “export-ready”, click here.

Are you in negotiations with an international lead?

If you’re in communication with an international lead, but you would like to reduce the risk in case of nonpayment, contact your local EXIM Bank representative by filling out the form below. We can help you identify trade financing solutions to boost your foreign sales while mitigating the risk of nonpayment by international buyers. 

Get a Free Export Finance Consultation Today!


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.