More than a quarter million American small businesses export from across all fifty states. They sell U.S. products and services around the world - thereby increasing their revenues, broadening and diversifying their customer base, and supporting good jobs in their communities. A particular priority of President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI) is to expand exports by small businesses. This will contribute to his goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 in order to support two million additional jobs for American workers. We invite more small and medium-sized businesses to join us in this national effort to grow our economy through exports. To help do that, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration have unveiled a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Tariff Tool. This is a free online tool available to businesses and the public for the first time.
Small businesses interested in starting or expanding sales of their goods and services overseas have access to a new, free online tool that will gauge their readiness to export and help them develop an export business plan.
The Export Business Planner, developed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, offers a ready-made, customizable and easily accessible document that can be updated and referenced continuously as the business grows.
Happily, e-commerce is not the highly-specialized, expensive beast it was ten years ago. With the ubiquity of online shopping these days, just about anyone can easily set up an online storefront and begin selling almost immediately. Online shopping has become a multi-hundred-billion-dollar industry and, with that comes innovation and offerings that provide smaller businesses access to it.
Should I build my own online storefront or use a service?
That depends on a number of things like customer perception, overall cost, ease of use, scalability (will it still be suitable if your business grows) and if there are any limitations to doing one or the other specific to your business.