The process of exporting can be very taxing on small businesses eager to grow. However, great business opportunities abound through the creation of export markets. 95 percent of the world’s customers live outside the United States. This means that our largest markets are outside the United States.
Irrespective of these challenges, there are treasures waiting for companies who seek to take their business into the global market. After all, no pirate ever finds treasures without dealing with other fellow pirates along the way, sometimes even bigger pirates. The treasures of the export market often touch on all facets of a business, including increasing customers across the globe, which can yield great success for a business if carried out properly, and international recognition, which can boost the credibility of a brand, fostering great sales and ultimately increasing profits.
Hence, to tap into these markets, U.S. businesses have to first locate the optimal markets for their products and then export their goods for sale into these markets.
For small or even medium-sized businesses, identifying export markets can take a great toll on all aspects of the business. This is because;
- Significant staff time will be needed to devise an export strategy and see it through to its fruition.
- Language barriers are often a problem as a business moves into foreign territories.
- Regulatory red tape import duties and other legal and financial issues also have to be addressed.
- Arranging shipping logistics can be complicated and can present a major stumbling block.
- A lack of ground information can be stifling, including finding partners who can handle product distribution.
- Competition with in-country and other foreign exporters that are already there may make it difficult to sustain buyers.
- A company’s intellectual property may be in danger without the supplier even knowing.
On a more general note, the hesitation by small businesses also seems to stem from their limited financial capability to go head-on with the hurdles mentioned above, along with other barriers to export markets. As a result, it is estimated that only 1% (one percent) of small businesses in the United States export. More so, of those companies that export, 58 percent of those companies export to only one country (most often to countries in North America, i.e., Canada).
Realizing the need for small businesses to reap the benefits of the export market, and in the spirit of making international trade really happen, which is one of the foundations of Sandler Trade LLC, we are making great strides to create awareness of the need for small businesses to enlarge their horizon through exports. To do this, we have joined an initiative to engage with small U.S. companies that need help with trade financing and with identifying the export markets best matched to their product, production capabilities, and niche.
So, if you are a small business owner who is seeking avenues to export, and you are reading this blog – please do not hesitate to contact us at Sandler Trade LLC via submitting a comment on this website (http://sandlertrade.com) or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want small businesses to know that there are various forms of private (Sandler Trade LLC) and public (www.export.gov) support available for those seeking ways to ease the hurdles and get financial help to export.
As we continue to do business in 2012, the importance of exports for American businesses still resonates louder than ever. The increase in employment (+200,000 jobs created in December 2011), would not have been possible without employment engine of the small business sector (myself being an example). In the same vein, to achieve the ambitious goal of doubling America’s exports by 2014 set forth in President Barack Obama’s National Export Initiative, small businesses will have to be involved. So what are you waiting for?!?!
Prince Mbanefo, Global Trade Advisor, Sandler Trade LLC.
Sandler Trade LLC (Facebook)