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Created on June 23, 2014
This post originally appeared on the Tradeology, the ITA Blog
Kenneth R. Mouradian is the Director of the International Trade Administration’s Orlando U.S. Export Assistance Center.
Numbers can be misleading, especially when they’re used as a proxy for quality thought in decision making.
Now, let’s be clear, here. When I say that numbers can be misleading, I’m assuming that you’re looking at an X and a Y axis with data points and no text except that which is necessary to label the graph. Alternatively, you’re looking at 10 numbers: five years and five corresponding dollar amounts or volumes. That’s where a lot of U.S. exporters begin their market research; and, if that’s where their research ends, that’s a problem.
Potential exporters need to look behind the data points on the graph by asking some important questions:
What happened before the trend?
What happened after the trend?
What caused the trend?
Can you compete (i.e., price, quality, terms of sale, features, post-sales support)?
Here’s a hypothetical: Imagine for a moment that you sell building products and the data indicate a 5-year growth trend in Timbuktoo for exactly what you sell. Assume, too, that the data are two years out of date and that you don’t follow soccer. Little did you know that Timbuktoo hosted the World Cup two years ago and that, if you had more recent data, you’d see a drop in demand for building products once the stadium, exercise buildings, dormitories, and tourism infrastructure had been completed.
Created on June 18, 2014
This post is part of the global blog series the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) started during World Trade Month.
George Mui is the Access to Markets team lead in MBDA’s Office of Business Development.
The U.S. Department of Commerce, through its Look South campaign, helps U.S. exporters to expand their markets and identify new opportunities in Latin America. U.S. goods exports to Peru, Panama, Mexico, and Colombia have increased every year since 2009. As we celebrate the second year anniversary of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement more American companies are exporting goods and services to Colombia, the vast majority of which are duty-free. The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is just one of the 11 free trade agreements between the United States and Latin American countries.
That’s why MBDA San Antonio Business Center director Orestes Hubbard and MBDA Global Business Center project manager David Leister visited Colombia along with an MBDA Global Business Center client, Carlos Silva, CEO of USATEQ, a Colombian native.
MBDA San Antonio director Orestes Hubbard shared his experience with George Mui, MBDA’s Access to Markets team lead in the Office of Business Development.
Mui: Why did you choose to travel to Colombia?
Hubbard: Colombia has a very advantageous geography and is roughly twice the size of the state of Texas – where I live. Colombia is also the only country in South America with access to both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and has long had good diplomatic and trade relations with the United States.
Created on June 16, 2014
The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico, along with the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department, hosted the 8th Annual New Mexico Native American Economic Summit, May 20-22 in Albuquerque, N.M.
The intent of the summit was to promote the development of a healthy, self-sufficient American Indian Economy, both on and off the reservation. The mission was both simple and powerful: “To help Native People achieve successful economic development initiatives while incorporating, strengthening and building upon tribal values,” said Ted Pedro, Director, Santa Fe MBDA Business Center.
Pedro said the Summit was designed as the “place to meet” and introduce Native American businesses and its leaders in order to synergize and strategize with peers and new contacts.
Created on June 17, 2014
The country's shifting demographics have huge implications for U.S. industry and the economy. By 2030 minorities are projected to provide all of the net growth of workers in the labor force. Experts say that increased public investment, skills training, and workforce development are crucial to improving the economy, expanding the middle class, and empowering the country's minority populations.
In an era of slow financial growth and tight public budgets, American minorities have taken to entrepreneurship, innovation and service to create new jobs, build wealth, and provide critical social value for their communities. Minority businesses make up 15 percent of the country's small businesses today and employ 5.9 million workers.
Join National Journal for the fourth Next America summit as they convene the nation's key opinion leaders for a robust discussion about minority financial empowerment, workforce development and entrepreneurship. They will explore questions such as: How can government grow the economy and improve the job market for all of its citizens? How can the public and private sectors best equip U.S. minorities with the skills they need for work? How do small businesses impact community growth? And what is the future of minority entrepreneurship?
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
The Grand Hyatt Washington | 1000 H Street NW | Washington, DC
Created on June 12, 2014
Disaster can strike at any time, and even the most prepared businesses and business owners can be adversely impacted. Scenes of disaster replay on televisions across the country with numbing regularity: A hurricane blasts through Florida... fire sweeps through a small-town manufacturing plant...floods destroy a local business district... a winter storm causes widespread power failure in the Northeast.
Every year emergencies take their toll on business and industry in terms of lives and dollars. But something can be done. Businesses of all sizes can limit injury and damage and return more quickly to normal operations if they plan ahead. Preparedness works.
Why Develop an Emergency Plan?
Business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, so it would seem natural for owners to take steps to protect those investments. While the importance of emergency planning may seem self-evident, the urgency of the task is often blunted by the immediate demands of the workplace. Also, owners and managers may have only a nominal idea of the risks their business faces, or possess only a limited understanding of steps they can take to reduce the potential impacts of disasters.
Last but not least, the business person is prone to the all-too-human tendency to believe that “it won’t happen to me.” In the meantime, businesses will continue to suffer setbacks that often could have been reduced or prevented altogether had someone taken the time to plan.