What do successful export operations have in common?
Find out if your company is ready to do business abroad.
Success in the domestic market. The product or service has a proven profit margin and there is ongoing demand.
The capacity to produce more of the product or service. The business has the adequate staff and resources to fulfill large orders that may come from overseas markets.
A comprehensive marketing plan that includes international goals, and outreach with campaigns and techniques that are sensitive to cultural issues.
Adequate logistical support and trustworthy partners that can help with compliance management. (Freight forwarders are familiar with export rules and regulations and can assist with classifications and paperwork.)
Payment collection methods that account for foreign currency conversion rates and methods for qualifying credit customers.
A management team that supports the exporting efforts on all levels. Managers must understand the risk and be willing to invest finances, staff and time to export initiatives.
Export.gov offers a free Export Readiness Assessment online to help you determine whether your operation is equipped and ready to begin exporting. Check it out here.
The SBA has created an Export Business Planner, a free, downloadable tool for small business owners who are considering exporting their products and services. The planner includes worksheets for global market research, financing information and options, as well as customizable export plan templates. Find it here.