You are here
Office of International Trade | Resources
96% of the world’s consumers reside outside the U.S. Where will your next customer come from?
ATC International, Inc. Finds Success in Exporting
Amy Frey’s international trade consulting business, ATC International, Inc., began in 1991 with boomerangs, and her business has been booming ever since.
After working in Australia, Amy Frey started her business in a small home office with a fax machine. Today, ATC has warehouses on both the East and West Coasts, distributing a wide variety of consumer products. Frey’s success was recognized in 2004 when she was named the Exporter of the Year for the Washington metropolitan area by the U.S. Business Administration.
“The world is your oyster,” says Frey.
Reflecting on her experience with exporting, Frey sees a world of opportunity. “The world is your oyster,” says Frey. “Small businesses can experience great sales and achieve growth exporting to customers outside the U.S. And you don’t have to go it alone. There are federal government programs to help small businesses become successful exporters.”
To begin your path to export success, visit sba.gov/international.
“Financing to help expand exports has been one of the greatest challenges for our business. The SBA has been crucial to our success.”
- Andy Kruse, Senior Vice President at Southwest Windpower, Flagstaff, AZ 2009 SBA Exporter of the Year
Where will your next customer come from?
Ninety-six percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States and represent two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power. U.S. companies that export enjoy business success with increased sales and profit potential. Exporting also helps businesses weather downturns in the domestic economy by being prepared to respond to foreign competition and global market trends.
Now is an ideal time for U.S. small businesses to start or expand export operations.
- U.S. businesses have a competitive advantage for producing high-quality, innovative goods and services with sound business practices.
- Advancements in e-commerce and logistics have lowered the costs of doing business overseas.
- Free trade agreements have opened up markets in Australia, Chile, Singapore, Jordan, Israel, Canada, Mexico, and Central America, creating more opportunities for U.S. businesses.
SBA Export Solutions
SBA is working to help small businesses start or expand export operations. SBA has international trade and finance managers at U.S. Export Assistance Centers who can advise you on SBA export finance programs and other federal government export assistance programs. Since 2008, SBA has approved over $2.2 billion in small business export loans.
SBA’s district offices have international trade specialists in every state and territory. Counseling and training programs are available through the nearly 400 offices of SCORE®—Counselors to America’s Small Business; more than 950 Small Business Development Centers, many which have an international focus; and more than 110 Women’s Business Centers.
6 Steps to Begin Exporting
Small business owners can access this information at http://business.usa.gov/begin-exporting.
Step 1 Take the Free Export Readiness Self-Assessment
The online questionnaire assesses export readiness and provides advice on how to strengthen export potential.
Step 2 Training and Counseling
Depending on the assessment score, business owners will be directed to online and local counselors who can help design a training program to match their specific needs.
Step 3 Create an Export Business Plan
An export plan identifies any business constraints and sets specific goals and objectives as milestones to success.
Step 4 Conduct Market Research
The U.S. government’s Market Research Library provides the latest information prepared by U.S. embassies worldwide. Trade Stats Express is a powerful tool for identifying target markets.
Step 5 Find Buyers
Federal, state and local governments continually hold export events putting U.S. sellers and potential foreign buyers in direct contact.
Step 6 Investigate Financing
Financing, insurance and grant programs help small businesses manage or remove risk for both the business and its bank.
SBA Export Loan Programs
SBA provides attractive export financing solutions for U.S. small businesses.
Export Working Capital Program
- Loans up to $5 million.
- Meets the short-term working capital needs of small business exporters. Funds used for working capital to support sales or to provide foreign receivable financing.
Export Express Program
- Program streamlined for quick approval on loans up to $500,000.
- Funds used for any purpose that will increase a company’s ability to export.
International Trade Loan Program
- Long-term financing on loans up to $5 million.
- Funds used for company expansion and modernization (i.e., plant, equipment, real estate) due to growing export sales or adverse impact by foreign competition.
Visit http://www.sba.gov/international to start exploring the export potential of your business.
All SBA programs and services are provided on a nondiscriminatory basis.