I had a conversation with a entrepreneur the other day. He was looking to launch a new business in the U.S.
After speaking with him about his long-term goals for the business, it was clear that he had not considered that the international market presented virtually unlimited profit opportunities.
It’s easy understand why his growth objectives did not include an international component.
To a lot of small business owners, the prospect of exporting and doing business overseas can be overwhelming and intimidating.
Many settle on what they know, i.e. the domestic U.S. market.
But that’s a huge mistake.
For a U.S. business owner, there’s never been a better time to tap into the growing economies of international countries. The International Monetary Fund has identified as many as 150 emerging international markets nearing economic expansion.
Other countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa are seeing tremendous growth.
Small businesses looking to increase sales and profit, reduce dependence on the domestic market and stabilize seasonal fluctuations should consider exporting.
According to the United States’ Export.gov division, nearly 96 percent of consumers live outside the U.S. Moreover, two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is in foreign countries.
While it seems like a no-brainer, the following business principle bears repeating– Go where the customers are. There is significant opportunity for small businesses to profit through exporting.
After all, it is not uncommon for successful companies to find that the majority of their company-wide revenue results from from foreign markets.
Experience has shown that succssful expoprting can be acheived by adopting a strategy based on the following 5 essential Guidelines and principles:
1. Develop long-term objectives aimed at establishing and mainitaing a permanenet presence in a local market.
2. Select target markets within the foreign country based on careful analysis of market and sales potential.
3. Be sure that products are adopted to meet local preferences and use conditions in the chosen market.
4. Establish a compliance and monitoring program to oversee distribution channels
5. Oversee advertising and promotion initiatives, instead of relying on local agents with no vested interest in the company or its product lines.
Exploit Untapped Resources
The best business owners know where to turn for help. An excellent resource to getting you started in exporting is the United States’ Export.gov website. You can request in-depth exporting Advice and international business information from your local U.S. Export Assistance Center. They can assist you to:
- Assess the market potential of your products/services
- Develop and implement a market entry/expansion strategy
- Identify and evaluate potential international business partners
In addition to Export.gov, there are many U.S. government and Chamber of Commerce websites that provide detailed information and a roadmap on what’s needed to become a global company. Be sure to visit the following websites:
Follow the guidelines above and you’ll be well on your way to building a successful global empire built on exports. The video below is an excellent introduction to the limitless profit opportunities that exist overseas: