Ten Keys to Cashing in on the Expanding Global Marketplace by Becoming a Successful Exporter
6/8/2012 7:13:00 AM
The global marketplace is a fast-growing and rapidly changing field. International business is exploding as a direct result of changes in technology,rapidly expanding economies, and international trade agreements. In fact, in 2010 alone, the United States imported $1.3 trillion and exported $1.277 trillion in goods. Author John Capela explains how you can set up shop in the global marketplace and expand your business's reach by exporting your products around the world.
In the past, opportunities for many small businessesended within the borders of their own country, and international trade was only for large multinational corporations.
"Today, the global marketplace provides opportunities not just for multinational corporations but also for small upstart companies. The Internet, affordable changes in technology and increased access to information have all made it easier for firms of all sizes to engage in international trade. Today, U.S. businesses are seeing increases inexports to developing countries, especially in Latin America, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia."
Import/Export Kit For Dummiesprovides entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses with the critical entry-point information they need to begin exporting their products around the world and importing goods to sell in the U.S. If you're an entrepreneur orsmall to mid-sized business owner, the book provides you with everything you need to know to ensure your business's growth and success.
Readon for ten keys to becoming a successful exporter
Identifying your market If you're interested in exporting, you need to identify foreign export markets for your product. Without the right market, you won't be able to do any business. Thorough market research helps you understand the economic, political, and cultural factors that will impact your ability to successfully sell your product. This kind of information is readily available through government agencies and business-related organizations such as foreign trade associations, chambers of commerce, and trade commission offices.
Visit www.export.gov and register to become part of the user community. The siteprovides a wealth of readily accessible data at no cost, and it can assist you in identifying overseas markets for U.S. goods and services. The advantage of these resources is that they come from trade experts located in countries aroundthe world. Because their expertise comes from hands-on involvement (as opposed to second-hand information), you can be assured that the data they provide is good.
"Remember, each individual market has different demands, and these demands can change," notes Capela. "Changes in technology, lifting of trade barriers and adjustments in import/export regulations are all factors that may impact the level and direction of international trade. These factors can have an influence, and you may need to consider adjusting your marketing andexport strategies for the current situation."
Assessing product potential As an exporter, you need to focus on what your product does and identify what needs it will satisfy in the foreign market. You also need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your product in comparison to availablecompetitive products. A product may be successful in the U.S., but that isn't any guarantee that it'll be just as successful in a foreign market. There may be no need for the product in the foreign country, or the product may need to be modified.
"Preparing a product for export requiresnot just knowledge of the product but also an awareness of many unique characteristics of each of the different markets you may be targeting," explains Capela. "Cultural differences and local customs may also require product modifications in areas such as branding, packaging, and labeling. Awareness of sensitivity to cultural differences is critical to a successful product introduction.
"Different countries can have different product standards, and you need to understand the need to conform if you want to do business internationally," he adds. "The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Center of Standards and Certification Information (NCSCI) provide this information for nonagricultural products; visit its websiteat http://ts.nist.gov/standards/information/index.cfm."
Familiarizing yourself with export controls and licensing requirements. Exporting can expose your business to laws and regulations that you may not be familiar with. All kinds of different rules can impact your ability to successfully do businessin foreign markets. One of these is U.S. export controls, which take the form ofprohibitions, restrictions, and licensing requirements.
"A key to being asuccessful exporter is being aware of these issues," says Capela. "Violation of these laws can have significant repercussions, from the government seizing your products to a denial of your privilege to export to fines and imprisonment."
Investigating import controls. Before exporting your product to a foreign market, you need to identify whether the country you're exporting to has any import controls related to the sale of your product. These controls can include prohibitions, restrictions, or import licensing requirements, and they can be based on country of origin, product type, or product characteristics. Products that violate these controls are generally not allowed to enter the importing country.
"Import documentation requirements and other regulations imposed by foreign governments vary from one country to the next," says Capela. "You need to be aware of the regulations that apply to your own operations and transactions."
Understanding U.S. export laws You have to be aware of your responsibilities when it comes to U.S. export laws. "These laws are designed to make sure that U.S. exports go only to legally authorized