Dear M & M:
I keep hearing about exporting and selling around the world. Where do I start?
Every year, the President of the United States declares the third full week of May as World Trade Week. Trade organizations, businesses and other stakeholders come together both nationally and locally to promote and facilitate international trade in the U.S. economy. There are many events throughout the year promoting trade with workshops designed to help the first time exporter or to assist people already exporting to expand to additional markets they are not already reaching. Cochise College SBDC has 2 counselors that are NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP). This is the highest level of certification testing core competencies in international trade counseling. Cochise College SBDC partners with and works with several other governmental agencies and private organizations to help businesses conduct trade and assist small businesses to access various export capital loan programs from foreign receivable financing to meet short-term working capital needs of small business exporters. To begin exporting the SBA has outlined 6 steps. This information can be accessed through the web site export.gov/begin. Step 1: Take the export readiness self-assessment. Step 2: Training and counseling – Cochise College SBDC. Step 3: Create an export business plan – online templates available. Step 4: Conduct market research. Step 5: Find buyers. Step 6: Investigate financing. Remember 96% of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S. and represent two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power.
Dear M & M:
My business is having difficulty surviving in this slowing economy. Are there any tools I can access or is there a practical guide available to help?
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to evaluate your organization to find out areas you should concentrate on to frame new strategies or enable you to find the appropriate resources that will best overcome your weaknesses. Is your mission and vision in alignment with current market conditions and core competencies of your organization? Do you know the strengths and weaknesses of your key competitors and have you adjusted your business strategy accordingly? Has your business revised performance goals to match the current environment and do you have a process to measure incremental results? Do you have a process to measure customer satisfaction before, during and after the sale? Have you considered possible strategic alliances, merger opportunities or acquisition of competitors or their product lines? Have you identified the greatest threats to your business? Have you accessed your organization from the top down, who is doing what, pricing, inventory control, marketing plan, or updated your business plan in the last year?
To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email email@example.com or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email firstname.lastname@example.org