Getting Started In International Sales

Dear M & M: I think that my company’s product would be successful in other countries but I’m not sure how to get started in international sales selling to other countries. Is there help for new exporters?- Bill

Dear Bill:

Exporting can be profitable for most companies large or small. To learn more about getting started, visit the Export Basics section on the U.S. government’s export portal, at Export.gov. Take the Export Readiness Assessment and learn if your company is ready to export and find out information on how to enter foreign markets at https://new.export.gov/export-readiness-assessment/login.

You can also talk to trade specialists at the U.S. Commercial Service’s Trade Information Center. Call 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) or you can contact Cochise College Small Business Development Center at Cochise College in Sierra Vista by calling 520-515-5478 to schedule an appointment with an International Trade Specialist.

Developing an export strategy to find qualified buyers is just one of the steps involved in the process. In addition, international legal considerations, preparing your product for export, shipping your product, methods of payment, financing export transactions, Free Trade Agrements (FTA) rules, export licensing, foreign curriencies, labeling, marketing and understanding buyers purchasing habits in foreign coutries are some other things one needs to consider.

Fortunaty the SBA has developed a templated export plan that can guide you through most of the steps to see if exporting will work for your organization. The free export plan can be dowloaded at: https://www.sba.gov/exportbusinessplanner.

In addition, access to the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Libray has over 100,000 industry and county specific reports on market updates, industry overviews, and country specific “Doing Business in” guides called Country Commercial Guides that cover many country specific questions from tariff schedules to specific country industry data on purchasing and information on how to do business in that country.

Also there is an archived libraray of past webinars on topics ranging from cargo insurance to international property rights in foreign counries that can be found at http://export.gov/mrktresearch/eg_main_018213.asp. Bottom line 90% of the worlds purchasing power is outside the U.S. 95% of the wold’s population live outside our country.

Your overseas competitors are selling in your markets right now. Why shouldn’t you look and see if it makes sense to see if foreign buyers are interested in your products or services worldwide?

-M&M

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