Exporting can be mystifying. You can spend hours searching the internet for the right resources and the right information. Who can help?
While In-Compasse primarily deals with financial resources and risk mitigation through Export Import Bank (Exim) and private insurers, we have the experience and the know how to guide you through the export maze. We simplify the export process
Whether you have never exported before or you are considering a new market, we have the resources and the recommendations for U.S. companies to export.
- Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). You can always go on the SBDC website and register for various events. But be prepared. We suggest the following to prepare for your communication with your local SBDC.
- Talk to your banker to see if exporting makes sense financially. If your banker deals with international instruments like letters of credit, if he has knowledge of SBA and Exim loans and loan guarantees among other export issues you will want to talk to him. You want a banker who is a good source of information about your export potential.
- Know which markets make sense for your company and why they do. You may be getting many on-line inquiries from certain parts of the world. Maybe you’ve had more international visitors to your trade show booth than usual. You know your competition is exporting.
- After reviewing the free and low cost resources and information that SBDC can provide, have some idea of how the SBDC can help or direct you.
Accessing any resource, whether public or private sector, requires you to do your part. It’s a good idea to have an export plan. Even if you don’t know all the answers, complete what you can and take to any resource meeting you have. As your exporting evolves, your plan will become more defined and specific to your company and export goals.
Knowing your market and your customer is key to becoming a successful exporter. You need to know how your foreign buyers act and think. We have two resources that can help you learn about your target country(ies). Custom, Culture and Cuisine covers what some might consider to be soft skills but are critical to export success. The second blog, Businesswomen Abroad, provides information specifically for women doing business in international markets. Both blogs are regularly updated so be sure to check back.
Successful exporters know that each country, and even different regions of a country, can have diverse needs and ways of doing business. Customs and cultures vary and need to be taken into consideration. (The same can be said for doing business throughout the U.S.) Legal requirements are not universal.
Resources available before seriously considering a different market:
- Check your local and state economic development departments who sponsor informational events and trade missions. Speakers are often from the countries being highlighted.
- Ask your local Small Business Administration (SBA) about recent winners of the Exporter of the Year Award. Award winners can tell you about exporting to a certain country or region.
- There may be a “one-stop shop” export assistance center (EAC) in your area. The EAC typically houses representatives from Commerce, the SBA, Exim Bank as well as local and state economic developments who want to help your export activities. Commerce can provide market entry information and prospects, the SBA can provide loan guarantees as can Export Import Bank. Requirements are different for each.
- Other resources can be events sponsored by an International Visitors Council in your state. Sister Cities “create connections with international municipal officials, institutions, and businesses. These connections build trust, access, and expertise that help local businesses find new opportunities and resources”.
Is selling direct the best way for you to export? You may not have someone on staff who can take on the duties of the export manager. Setting up a distributor abroad can be daunting but contact export.gov. They can help.
Or you may consider selling to an aggregator like an export management company (EMC) that can act as your export department.
Kay Carrico, owner of In-Compasse International, has vast experience helping U.S. companies become successful exporters. She worked several years for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) as an international trade specialist. Kay was co-located in an export assistance center in Michigan working with Commerce, the SBA and overseas counterparts. Kay worked hand in hand with other public sector resources to provide seamless export services to Michigan companies.
Kay is also a registered Export Import (Exim) Bank broker. Exim provides insurance products that minimize risk to U.S. companies when selling on open account to foreign buyers. In-Compasse also works with private sector insurers. Whether you need a public or private sector resource. Kay also helped ExporTech companies develop their export plans.
Kay has been a presenter and promoter of export events during World Trade Week in Michigan and New Mexico. She developed the program, Go Global with NAWBO, for the New Mexico Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She was a coach with ExporTech New Mexico directing companies to the right resources and help with export plans.
Kay has held various board positions with Sister Cities, and with the Albuquerque International Visitors Council. She was a founding member and president of the Detroit Chapter of Women in International Trade. Most recently, she was president of the New Mexico Chapter of NAWBO.
Schedule your 30-minute free consultation today. Contact us today to learn how you can build your market share through exporting.