Small businesses around the country are constantly looking for ways to increase sales and profit and reducing dependence on the domestic market - all while minimizing risk and stabilizing seasonal fluctuations. Did you know that:
- Nearly 95 percent of consumers live outside the U.S.?
- Two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is in foreign countries?
Small business owners and professionals are putting together their business plans to export their goods and services abroad, but many are unware of the valuable resources provided by their federal and local government entities. Before you seek help, take the FREE export readiness self-assessment (created by Business USA) to determine if your small business is ready to begin exporting. The assessment will cover the following topics:
Understanding your executive leadership commitment to exporting and/or willingness to dedicate the time, staff and resources is crucial for exporting success. In addition, deploying resources and staff to travel internationally, meet with potential buyers and attend trade shows plays a vital role in ensuring success.
- Planning & Strategy
Having an international marketing plan with defined goals, strategies and target markets will allow your team to understand quickly and test what is working and what is not working such as: Is your digital marketing plan luring in international leads? Are you able to fulfill international orders in a timely manner? Do you have a translation mechanism? Moreover, many organizations fail to have adequate knowledge on how to protect their company’s intellectual property rights internationally; therefore, this should ALWAYS be at the top of your list before you begin exporting.
- Product Readiness
Are your products or services commercially available? Is it possible to modify your products and/or services to adapt to cultural needs and norms? Do you need to translate marketing material to meet demands? Do you have enough production capacity to meet large international orders? These are all questions that need to be addressed before entering a new market.
- Export Mechanics
There are many processes and documentation requirements that you may not be aware of or have dealt with until you’ve decided to export. Having adequate knowledge about shipping products (e.g., completing the right documentation or managing freight forwarders), export financing options (e.g., letter of credit, trade insurance), export licensing requirements and foreign legal and regulatory requirements is a MUST for any small business looking to export.
If you’re new to the world of exporting and would like to start receiving the latest resources, advice and information on entering new markets, you can sign up for our Export Finance Solutions blog.