Exporting might seem like reaching for the moon with customers thousands of miles away or speaking another language. In reality, they are closer than you think, and luckily, you have your own Mission Control to provide guidance as you move along your export journey.
With 95% of the world’s consumers and two-thirds of all purchasing power are located outside the United States, if you are not exporting then you’re reaching just a small share of potential customers. Go where the customers are!
Some small businesses are ready to export, whereas others may need help assessing their opportunities. If you’re ready to consider exporting, there are many U.S. Government resources that can help you on your way.
The SBA is a great place to start. We encourage you to visit our website – www.sba.gov/tradetools – which has information about developing an export plan, researching foreign markets, information on U.S. trade agreements, protecting intellectual property and using digital and e-commerce tools. The website also connects you to resources at SBA, other federal agencies, as well as state and local resources.
As you grow your exports and expand into the global marketplace, the International Trade Administration, including the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS), (trade.gov) has resources to help you soar. The Commercial Service offers videos and courses that cover topics like shipping and logistics or performing due diligence as well virtual introductions with the USCS virtual export promotion services (Gold Key Service (trade.gov). The International Trade Administration has a Trade Show Calendar (Trade Events Search | International Trade Administration) where you can learn about upcoming trade shows opportunities to expand your reach, talk directly to prospective buyers, and review the competition.
Once you’ve found your market and your customers, SBA’s Office of International Trade has an export finance program designed to support those global sales. The Export Express can be used to attend trade shows, develop digital marketing, and adapt your product for the foreign market. To streamline the application process, the SBA has given Lenders special authority to lend under the Export Express program. An approved Lender decides application procedures, collateral, and makes the credit decision. The SBA’s response time is typically a couple of days, which means you move faster to develop your foreign market.
If you think your small business is ready to go global, but you’re not sure where to start, contact one of the SBA’s Export Finance Managers located at 21 U.S. Export Assistance Centers across the country.
Neil Armstrong said research creates knowledge. Follow in Neil’s footsteps, plan your journey and take that giant leap into exporting.