Is Your Small Business Ready to Go Global?

The National Export Initiative is an encouragement for small businesses to give aid in tapping into the global marketplace. Exporting is a great opportunity, however small business owners need further assistance before jumping into this with both feet. According to the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), the United States ranks third in the field of entrepreneurship. In the quest to grow your business, it is not surprising that you want to take it to the next level.

doing business on a global scale

Exporting your products and services to other countries denotes that your client base has grown to include the international market. This is growth for your business. Yet, there are small business owners who despite their obvious success seem a little dubious in reaching beyond the borders. You might ask why that is, considering that every entrepreneur aspires for growth and continuum. It is not just about getting your business ready, it is about giving an honest self-evaluation on whether you are ready to go global or not. At least not yet.

There are numerous advices on how to export, things to learn before exporting and a dozen other informative and developmental products nowadays. The Export Questionnaire is one of the most helpful ways to evaluate your company since it is patterned after the success of other exporters.

Here is a quick assessment:

  • First off, did you have sales success in the domestic market? If your products or services did not fare well locally, you might want to rethink a new strategy to pull sales in. After all, local sales can be the jumping off point that you can use to determine how your business would do in an international setting. That said, small businesses who have no prior local sales are encouraged to start locally first and then expand.
  • Do you have an international marketing plan in place? If so, now is the right time to get started on it. Define your target market, research and planning could go a long way to spare your business from an international entrepreneurial disaster.
  • Is your production able to handle a wider demographic? Remember that you are slowly building a name and it would not do any good if you are constantly held back just because you were not ready production wise. An increase in output means an increase in input without sacrificing quality. You have to be sure that you can live up to the hype that you and your company have created.
  • Do you have enough funds to market globally? It would be a wise move to check all the programs available for small business exporters and go with the one you think most suitable.
  • Are you and your entire staff committed to make this work? Let’s say you already have a great reputation locally, you have to ensure that the same quality of goods and services would also be given to your international market. Don’t play favorites, play fair. And be sure to get that commitment from all your employees.
  • Have you checked the foreign import regulations and cultural preferences of the country you are exporting to?
  • Are you aware of the different requirements in shipping overseas; such as packing, labeling, documentation and insurance?
  • Do you have extensive knowledge of export payment mechanisms? It is also important that you have a general knowledge of ways to receive payments, selecting methods of payment, currency and other issues.

Exporting has more risks and more challenges compared to operating a business locally. You have to know whether you are on the right track or not and how to get back to it. You also have to realize that you need to keep on working on the seemingly small cracks in your business and fine-tune your plans so that you could be well on your way to exporting.


7 Comments Is Your Small Business Ready to Go Global?

  1. Business Money Today

    I am shocked to see that we are #3. This is essentially all we have left for economic development. Do know that the government also understands the positive impacts that exporting has on our economy and thus has set up several ways to help small businesses increase their exports (or get in the game) – from lead sources and marketing reps in oversea areas to management and financing.
    Nice post.

  2. Ayse Oge

    For global business you definitely need to have the logistics in place. My advice would be to move slowly. Make sure that you have the proper head count to service the business, the production capabilities, and the proper policies and procedures in place to facilitate customer satisfaction before you decide to enter a new foreign market.
    Companies’ proper procedures include payment methods, discount and terms, insurance, advertising and sales promotion and granting exclusive reresentation. Also, establish guidelines for reporting as well for both export staff and support departments such as manufacturing, engineering, finance and credit.
    Ayse Oge
    International Trade Consulting, Speaking and Training


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