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Time to Go Global

Tue Feb 23 2010
Doug
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Guest Blogger Doug from U.S. Commercial Service

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If you are reading this blog chances are you have a business idea or an actual product that will generate buyers in other countries. The good news is that today as never before you can generate these sales as easily as you can a sale to a buyer across the street. The not-so-good news is that you may believe that selling outside the U.S.—exporting—is too complex and risky. But guess what? It’s not.

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Getting Going Global

U.S. small businesses are part of the global market whether by sourcing products and components from abroad, dealing with foreign competitors in our own backyards, or selling to foreign buyers. Selling to buyers in other countries spreads risks, takes advantage of economic booms occurring elsewhere, and can be a major driver of profits and growth. Many U.S. businesses with fewer than ten employees sell to multiple countries and derive half or more of their income from foreign sales. It’s a myth that you have to be big or spend tons of money to be a player in the global market.

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Reasons to Export

  • 95 percent of the world’s buyers are outside the U.S.
  • Chances are your first export will be through your Website
  • You can sell globally via e-commerce sites such as eBay and Alibaba
  • Credit, debit cards, and third party intermediaries like PayPal are becoming increasing popular and almost no risk methods of payment
  • Canada is our number one trading partner and selling to buyers there is easy
  • Foreign buyers love U.S. made goods and services because of quality and reliability
  • The value of the dollars makes U.S. goods a relative bargain
  • Exports often command high margins
  • Selling internationally can improve your management and marketing skills for all markets
  • Selling internationally will help you keep abreast and even ahead of trends in your industry
  • There are many free and low-cost federal and state government services to help you get started and to grow

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Ways to Simplify Export

Here are some valuable information sources for getting started or expanding:

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A Basic Guide to Exporting, the best-selling Department of Commerce publication. Purchase it for less than $20 at gpo.gov or amazon.com.

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Visit the Federal government’s export portal and browse the Export Basics, trade leads and market research. Learn how to create a simple export plan. Read about other small businesses that have succeeded, view videos, and learn about low-interest loan guarantees from the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. and the SBA.

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Call 1-800-USA-TRADE and talk to an exporting expert from the Department of Commerce. They’ll help you develop an export plan, classify your product, estimate duties and taxes for your pro forma invoice, leverage your state’s export assistance programs, and much more.

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Meet the folks at your local Export Assistance Center. There’s one near you, and you can find them by calling 1-800-USA-TRADE or visiting export.gov.

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Exporting: Build your business; give consumers worldwide the gift of choice and U.S. quality; help reduce the trade deficit; create more jobs for your neighbors.

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