Tap these resources so you may go global
May 20, 2012
By David Rodrigues, ASU-SBDC ITO
SAN ANGELO, Texas — Once you’ve made the decision to expand and grow your business beyond U.S. borders, you need to know the right steps to take to face the challenge of going global.
There are several resources on the Internet and even government agencies that can help you to successfully face this challenge.
The first step to become involved in exporting is to evaluate your product’s export potential.
There are products that are well accepted in the global market and others that only fit well in some specific markets around the world. This is why it is important to develop research about the country to export.
Once the product’s export potential is assessed, the next step is to evaluate if the company is “export-ready.”
There are certain characteristics common to successful exporters, these features are based on core export indicators and management attributes.
These indicators can predict success of the company’s product in the domestic market, the sufficient production capacity to commit to international markets, and the company’s level of commitment to dedicate staff, time and resources for export process.
The third step is to identify potential customers and suppliers.
Attending an international trade show can be an excellent way to develop key international trade contacts, such as buyers, brokers, distributors or representatives. Governmental agencies like the U.S. Commercial Service are able to help you connect with local experts from the targeted export country.
Securing trade financing is the next step and may seem to be the toughest one, but there are many resources to help.
There are also several public and private financial resources. For example, the Ex-Im Bank (Export-Import Bank) is an export credit agency that provides insurance, loans and financing assistance to exporters.
The fifth step includes designing and arranging the logistics.
For this, a customs broker should be chosen. The customs broker will handle all the customs processing and determine the duties and regulations for the product to export. Then, a freight forwarder may be selected in order to design the most efficient route and the most appropriate transportation mode for the product. There are several international logistics providers who have customs and transportation services integrated: UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.
In the sixth step, a method of payment should be considered.
The payment methods can be cash in advance, letter of credit, documentary collections and an open account. For a new exporter, cash in advance would be the most recommended method, while for an experienced exporter with long standing relationship with the foreign client; an open account would be best suited.
Finally, once all the steps above have been fulfilled, a commercial invoice, a packing slip and certificate of origin (if it is needed) should be included with the shipment.
When all the steps are completed, then the exporter is ready to begin his/her international experience.
At the ASU-SBDC International Trade Office, we are ready to help you to begin your international business adventure. We have staff that specializes on international business in addition to any information and tools needed to start your exporting adventure. And don’t forget, no business is too small to go global.
“Business Tips” was written by David E. Rodriguez, Certified Global Business Professional and Graduate Assistant of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center — International Trade Office.Contact him at email@example.com.