Exporting is a big deal. Small business is a big deal. Exporting is a big deal for small business.
Why do businesses export? The number one reason is to find new markets. You’ve probably heard the big exporting numbers – a bazillion this, a gazillion that. And, you may have heard that 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. That’s all well and good. But if you’re a business owner and you need to grow your business, is this enough data to start exporting?
If you’re like most of our business clients you need more numbers. You need to know more than just your gut telling you to find new markets. You need to know how much you can grow. You need to have an idea if you start exporting what kind of impact it will have on your resources. What about the costs associated with exporting. What are they? How will I need to adjust my pricing? What margins can I expect?
Exporting may be a big deal for your business
What can exporting do for you? First and foremost, it can help you find new markets for your products. Maybe you have products that are no longer selling domestically. Perhaps you’ve watched competitors expand successfully overseas. Or maybe you read something that made you think that your products could solve a problem really well in a developing country. Or you feel that you’ve completely tapped out the U.S. market. Whatever the reason that brings you here, our team can help advise you as you explore opportunities to sell across the world.
Kansas SBDC advisors can show you how to find buyers for export products including how to develop an export buyers list and how to analyze foreign competition to create a sustainable international competitive advantage. We can help you with product preparation and international logistics as well as work with you to develop an international budget and global marketing plan. Our team can show you how to contact foreign buyers, find buyers for your products, and how to get export orders. We can guide you on how to sell overseas, how to ship overseas, how to sell products internationally. We can help you determine the exportability of your products, assess and minimize export risk, and learn about export compliance. And we can help you access export financing to grow your business and minimize your risk.
While our business is highly confidential (Las Vegas has nothing on us) we do have clients that from time to time grant us permission to share their stories. And we love that. There are some amazing stories. One Kansas SBDC client who has an incredible story to share is GT Mfg, Inc. from Clay Center, Kansas.
For this Kansas business exporting is a big deal
GT Mfg (www.gtmfg.com) is an amazing story of how a company can almost lose everything only to turn it all around and grow by leaps and bounds through exporting. As the “worldwide leader in manufacturing batch grain dryers” GT Mfg attributes more than 80% of its sales to international sales with products sold to more than 80 countries across 6 continents. And, believe it or not, all of this is done from Clay Center, Kansas, population 4,239 (2013 estimates).
Each year the team at GT Mfg looks at 10 new market targets often narrowing down the list to half after conducting market research via distributors, consultants, and the CIA World Factbook – a long-time go-to resource for GT. Existing customers often provide opportunities to showcase products to adjoining countries and foreign prospective customers travel to and from Kansas to learn about GT’s grain dryers.
Growth has been consistent for several years going and has kept this American manufacturer moving without dependence on the domestic economy’s ups and downs.
Find out if exporting can be a big deal for your business
Interested in learning more about what’s involved in exporting and how our international trade resources can help your business? Contact any Kansas SBDC location near you.
International Trade Advising
At the Kansas SBDC we assist with readiness assessment, market research, export working capital needs analysis and access to export working capital loans and international receivables insurance. We also act as a referral agency to our international trade partners. All Kansas SBDC advisors are certified as SBA Export Counselors. International trade advising is available at no-cost to new-to-market and new-to-export businesses who wish to explore exporting as a growth through market diversification or product life cycle strategy.
Contact any of our locations to get started.