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Selling Internationally? 8 Reasons why Export.gov Might Just Be Your New Best Friend

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Selling Internationally? 8 Reasons why Export.gov Might Just Be Your New Best Friend

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: August 5, 2010 Updated: March 3, 2014

The U.S. government offers many resources and programs to help small business owners expand into overseas markets. But, you might be surprised at just how much Uncle Sam has to offer.

 

For example, did you know the government can help target and facilitate meetings with potential partners and buyers? Or that Uncle Sam provides U.S. exporters with international marketing and promotion opportunities?

 

Let me introduce you to Business.usa.gov/export.

 

Operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce as a collaborative effort with 19 other agencies, Business.usa.gov/export is quite literally a goldmine of information, tools, and programs for anyone looking to navigate the exporting business and succeed in the global marketplace.

 

Whether you are new to exporting, looking to expand your existing exports or ready to take your export business online, here are eight essential resources that Business.usa.gov/export offers small business owners.

 

1. Get an Exporting 101

If you think you are ready to start exporting, take a look at Export.go;s Exporting 101. This guide helps you assess your exporting readiness and introduces you to the basics of exporting through a variety of resources (including this Export University 101 webinar).

 

2. Free Step-by-Step Market Research Tools

If yo-re just beginning to sell internationally, Export.go-s Step-by-Step research guidelines can help you find potential markets, assess targeted markets, identify U.S. or foreign incentives to promote exporting of your product or service, test demand, and more.

 

3. Help you Build Relationships

The government offers extensive programs to help your business find international partners and distributors. Specialists at your local Export Assistance Center, operated by the U.S. Commercial Service, will contact a large group of potential overseas business partners on your behalf, and then identify the companies that are interested and capable of becoming a viable representative for you in that market. They will also screen them and set-up meetings' whether face-to-face or via video conference. Learn more about this service.

 

4. Find Trade Events that Fit Your Goals

If you prefer to search for your own trade events and other opportunities to meet potential international buyers and distributors, use Export.go's export trade events search tool to find U.S. government organized export trade events, fairs, missions and seminars.

 

5. Get Help Marketing your Product Overseas

There can hardly be a more credible and inexpensive way of reaching overseas business partners and buyers than by riding the coattails of the U.S. government throughout the world. The government offers several ways for exporters to market and promote their product overseas for a small fee, including:

  • Magazine Ads - Place an ad in the U.S. Commerce Departmen's official export promotion magazine, Commercial News USA* (CNUSA). Distributed free of charge every other month by U.S. embassies and consulates.
  • Advertise Online - Advertise in FUSE, the featured directory of U.S. products on U.S. Commercial Service websites around the world.
  • Free Company Listings - Be included in the Official U.S. Department of Commerce online directory of U.S. exporters and service providers.
  • Exhibit at Catalog Shows - U.S. Commercial Service trade specialists located in international markets will translate your company profile into the local language, display your marketing materials, collect sales leads from interested local buyers, and then assist you as you follow up with the local contacts.
  • Organize a Promotional Event with the Support of Uncle Sam' If you want to host your own export trade event, your local Export Assistance Center can help you get organized.

Read more and get involved with these programs, on Export.go's Marketing Guide.

 

6. Learn how to Conduct International E-Commerce

Taking your exporting business online through international e-commerce can open many doors. To help you'internationaliz' your e-commerce site as well as navigate the complexities of payment options, custom duties, and so on visit Export.go's guide to Conducting International Business Online.

 

7. Find Exporting Assistance in your Town

Many of the services offered by Business.usa.gov/export are backed by local export assistance centers, operated by the U.S. Commercial Service in over 100 cities nationwide. Each center is staffed by trade professionals who can provide local businesses with exporting support, including trade counseling and more information on many of the tools and services mentioned in this article.

 

8. Stay Connected

Business.usa.gov/export and its partners also have a significant social media presence - get the links here.

 

Additional Resources

 

Business.gov also provides a comprehensive Import / Export Guide that specifically addresses exporting as it pertains to small business and includes information such as How to Obtain Export Financing from the Small Business Administration and other sources, as well as other resources.

 

Related Articles

* Note: Hyperlink directs reader to non-government Web site.

About the Author:

Caron Beesley

Contributor

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

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