April 13, 2011

Exporting in the Year of the Entrepreneur

Rob Moore, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism in Canada calls 2011 as the "Year of the Entrepreneur". Small businesses nowadays are given the attention it deserves from all over the world. It is no wonder then that this year may indeed be the year which helps jumpstart governments to help out the industry which is responsible for bringing about jobs when nobody else is hiring.
Small business owners are slowly becoming bold enough to take their businesses on a wider scale by going global. Exporting can be an answer for entrepreneurs who wants to increase sales and profits. Of course this should be done with caution. Even though governments from across the globe fully support exporting, there are some steps you need to follow as guidelines before you can actually take the plunge.

  1. The first step is to always ensure that you are ready to begin exporting. There is a vast difference in selling your products or services locally and offering it to the international market. The SBA in fact have an Export Questionnaire which would help gauge an entrepreneur's readiness to take their business global.
  2. Attend training and counseling sessions to further your knowledge with the export business.
  3. Create an Export Business Plan. This is different from your standard business plan because it also includes identifying possible roadblocks you might encounter in the country you will be exporting to. Without this, you would not be able to have a clear goal which would make your success rather hazy.
  4. Doing extensive research would go a long way. You have to know the buying trends of your target market, shipping costs, business practices in the country you will be exporting to and other necessary information which would help smoothen your exporting efforts.
  5. Familiarize yourself with grants and other programs (especially when it comes to financing) designed to help a small business exporter.
What exporting tips do you have if you have already started to market your business internationally? If you haven't started exporting yet, do you have any plans in the near future?

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