Exporting Goods to Meet Demands in Foreign Regions
Once your small beading business is up and running, you may find yourself successful enough to begin exporting your goods abroad. The demand for jewelry is not only centralized in the United States--many people around the world have a knack for small beading and share your passion. To expand your small business and continue to increase your revenue, exporting can play a valuable role in helping you achieve your goals.
Before you can begin exporting your goods, there are a few key points you need to keep in mind in order to transition smoothly into this aspect of entrepreneurship. First, consider taking the Free Export Readiness Self-Assessment (export.gov) supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to determine whether this endeavor is right for you.
The initial success of a small business is often enough to get entrepreneurs thinking about exporting to cash in on the potential in other countries. However, this idea can fall flat if there is not enough planning prior to testing the waters in other markets. The questionnaire can help you determine if you are fit to begin exporting your goods and hone in on areas that have room for improvement.
Next, counseling and mentoring is a must before beginning to export your products, according to the SBA. It may seem time-consuming to seek the help of another professional in the industry, but receiving this knowledge and expertise can prevent pitfalls in your own entrepreneurial endeavors. Your Free Export Readiness Self-Assessment score can help individuals match you up with a counselor in your local area to train your properly in exporting.
Once you have buffed up on all there is to know about exportation, the next step is to create an exporting business plan. As always, it is better to be prepared than be caught off-guard--an export business plan can help you develop strategies to tackle any unexpected swings in the market.
A plan to export your goods can also help you develop goals. Having an objective in mind when exporting your products and services abroad can help you stay on top of your finances at home. A plan can help you determine if the endeavor is helping or hurting your cause as a small business.
Remember to set milestones and timelines when you are establishing an export business plan as well. This will help you determine if your current plan is going over smoothly or if you need to make improvements along the way.
Prior to exporting your goods and services, the SBA recommends conducting market research and analysis. Understanding potential target audiences abroad can help you hone in on areas that are best suited for your products. This can help you avoid wasting time and money with exporting to regions that are not offering high demand.
Consider using customer surveys and questionnaires to gauge the attitude of potential consumers in regions where you plan to work. Similar to the tactics you use at home, these market research strategies can pay off in the long-run--literally.
The U.S. government has established the Market Research Library specifically to provide resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners who are looking for more information on foreign markets.
Once you have conducted the necessary research, consider reaching out to federal, state and local governments in regions that you wish to begin exporting. Oftentimes, government representatives are willing to connect exporters with local buyers to offer new products and services to residents. Establishing a connection early-on can help you get your goods to your target market sooner, resulting in potential profit at a quicker rate.
Consider visiting trade shows in regions that you are considering for exporting to meet personally with distributors. Creating a long-term relationship with these individuals can make exporting a smoother process and help increase your chances of success in another region.
Finally, investigate financing and investment opportunities through exporting. Brushing up on information regarding grants, insurance and financial programs for exporters can be the first step toward successfully selling goods abroad. These programs can also provide you with the funds you need to start your initial plan to export products and services in foreign countries.
The world economy is expected to grow as more small business owners begin exporting in-demand goods. The capabilities available through e-commerce are also helping to reduce the costs of exporting products, according to the SBA. In combination with free trade agreements that are continuing to open up around the world, this is the prime opportunity for small business owners to make a mark on the industry through exportation.
Statistics show that companies that export their goods and services are less likely to go out of business, according to the SBA. If anything else, exporting can give an amateur entrepreneur peace of mind.
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