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Are You Ready to Export?


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Guest Blogger: David Leister, MBDA Business Center
Created on April 25, 2013
 

Shipping YardExporting your product and services requires planning. Like any successful project, one of the first steps is making a plan.  Whether you’re going on vacation, conducting a domestic business transaction or starting a new venture one common trait is essential for success . . .  careful attention to detail.  A great starting point to determine your company’s level of preparedness for international market entry is completing an export readiness assessment.

Selecting the appropriate markets for our products and services, determining how to strategically engage target markets, and securing the financial and managerial resources are just some of the analyses needed to ensure that your export venture is a long-term success. The results of such an assessment may, for example, lead to modifying and ramping up production in order to ship your products to South America or perhaps giving consideration to a more complex venture of opening an office abroad.

To be specific, a baseline assessment will determine levels of preparedness in four key areas:

  • Finance – Is there sufficient cash flow to invest in overseas marketing and promotional costs?

  • Market Demand – Is there an appetite or opportunity for the product/services overseas?

  • Operations – Is increasing current production capacity an option?

  • Audience – Which modifications need to be made to existing products or services to satisfy foreign customers and standards?

This assessment is generally conducted by a trade specialist and involves submitting basic company information in confidential face-to-face interviews along with a company visit. An export readiness assessment is not only educational, it is imperative to providing critical answers to the most important questions that will reveal if your company is ready to export.  If you already are exporting, completing an assessment can guide you in finding ways to export more effectively.

The critical elements to successful exporting, regardless of industry, product or target country, involve a committed management team, appropriate production capacity, sound financing, and an understanding of the foreign market’s cultural components that range from language spoken to business customs and etiquette. The end result of a well-executed export readiness assessment is a clear picture of where your company’s export opportunities exist and how best to engage.

Ready to take a closer look at your global capabilities? Begin your export readiness assessment by contacting the MBDA Business Center at (210) 458-2480.

Additional Resources

» U.S. Recognizes Another Year of Export Growth

» International Trade Administration Releases New Trade Finance Guide, 3rd Edition

» Minority-Owned Businesses are Exporting

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MBDA Minority Business Centers helped clients obtain capital totaling $4.76 billion during the last 5 fiscal years.
Graph for Dollar Value of Capital

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