Selling Global? – 8 Reasons Why Your Small Business Should Get to Know Export.gov
by Caron_Beesley, Community Moderator
- Created: August 23, 2012, 7:43 am
- Updated: August 28, 2012, 7:13 am
Thinking of exporting your products or services? Want to expand your existing exporting business? The U.S. government can help.
The SBA, for example, is making it a priority to help small business owners develop or expand their exporting activities through initiatives such as its Export Loan Programs and free online informational videos.
What else does Uncle Sam offer? Well, did you know the U.S. government can help target and facilitate meetings with potential international partners and buyers? Or that it provides U.S. exporters with international marketing and promotion opportunities?
Let me introduce you to Export.gov.
Operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce as a collaborative effort with 19 other agencies, Export.gov is a goldmine of information, tools and programs for anyone looking to succeed in the global marketplace.
Here’s a quick summary of what aspiring and expanding exporters can learn and leverage:
1. Are you export ready?
If you think you’re ready to start exporting, take a look at this Export Basics guide. Assess your exporting readiness with this quick questionnaire and learn about the fundamentals of exporting through a variety of resources (including this Export University 101 webinar).
2. Find your export market with free research tools
Get free trade statistics and market research reports, plus a step-by-step guide for doing your research, in Export.gov’s Market Research guide.
3. Get appointments with pre-screened in-market contacts
The government has U.S. Commercial Service staff in over 80 countries to help you find international partners and distributors. How? Specialists will contact a large group of pre-screened 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 arrange meetings. Learn more about this service here.
4. Trade Events – get advice and meet foreign buyers
The government organizes a variety of trade events to help U.S. exporters. These include everything from webinars and seminars on exporting basics such as financing and licensing, counseling and support at international trade shows, and recruitment for meetings with you of foreign buyer delegations to U.S. trade shows. Learn more and search for events here.
5. The government can support your international sales and marketing
In addition to trade fairs, the government offers several ways for exporters to market and sell their products overseas, including:
- Market Planning – Get help creating an international business plan and conducting market research and due diligence.
- International Promotion – Place an ad in the U.S. Commerce Department's official export promotion magazine Commercial News USA. Get listed on FUSE, an online directory of U.S. products on government websites around the world, as well as the Export Yellow Pages.
- 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.
- Overcome Trade Barriers and Resolve Disputes – Learn more about how the government can help.
Read more about how the government can be “your international business partner” in Export.gov's Marketing Guide.
6. Get logistical support
Find out how to get your products from point A to point B, including how to gather the right documentation, prepare products for shipment, and speak to a specialist here.
7. Learn how to conduct international e-commerce
To help you “internationalize” your e-commerce site as well as navigate the complexities of payment options, custom duties, etc., visit Export.gov's guide to Conducting International Business Online.
8. Get exporting help in your town
Many of the services offered by Export.gov are backed by local export assistance centers in more than 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.
- Export.gov and its partners also have a significant blogging and social media presence. Get the links here.
- SBA Export - Import Guide
- Idea Exchange: Small Business Owner's Exporting Experiences
- US-Korea Trade Agreement Opens Big Market for Small Businesses
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