January 2015

News From The Louisville SBDC
Go Global – The Basics

News Flash-Merchandise exports from the Louisville-Jefferson County metropolitan area reached a record $8.9 billion in 2013. Exports jumped 16 percent from 2012 to 2013. 
Poised to become a leading US exporter, Louisville companies sell to Canada, Mexico, China, and the Netherlands. Categories include processed foods, chemicals, computer and electronic products, machinery, and transportation equipment. (Source: http://louisvilleky.gov/news/new-data-shows-louisville-leading-metropolitan-area-exports)

It’s true that more than two-thirds of companies that export have fewer than 20 employees. U.S. companies that export not only grow faster, but are nearly 8.5 percent less likely to go out of business than non-exporting companies. (Source: study published by the Institute for International Economics)

As a local business owner you may be thinking about exporting and asking yourself…Is my local business ready to go global?

Go Global-The Basics
These are the basic areas of exporting.

Sales -Your company’s product/service should have some sales “traction” domestically.
Although there is no set dollar amount for sales, companies should have a “proven track record,” in the US. Companies looking to export should determine which method of exporting to use. The indirect selling method involves using an intermediary to sell the product/service to a foreign buyer. US companies that deal directly with a foreign buyer are using the direct selling method.

Plan, Plan, Plan – Have you determined what country to sell? What price will you sell? Is this price profitable? Will you need to “repackage” the product/service?

Who is your customer? Why? These are a few of the questions that will be answered while you craft your international marketing plan.

Financial Commitment- Are you willing to designate money or do you have access to capital to continuously export your product/service? Successful exporting typically requires hiring staff or reassigning current staff to handle logistical needs, customer service issues, marketing needs, etc.

Shipping Knowledge- Once you determine the country to start selling to, you will need to identify how the product/service will be delivered to your customers.

Will you use an export management company (EMC), a freight forwarder, or an export trading company? Exporting requires proper documentation and having adequate shipping knowledge helps with completing the paperwork.

Contact Toni Sears at toni.cardell@uky.edu to assist you with assessing the “export readiness” of your company. Toni has received certification as a Small Business Development Center Trade Consultant.
Toni Sears
Assistant Director, Louisville SBDC
Email Toni
Toni Sears has worked with the Louisville SBDC for five years. Prior to joining the KSBDC, she served as project director for the Louisville Minority Business Development Center and housing director for Sullivan University. Toni holds and M.B.A. and a B.A. in English, both from the University of Louisville. She is a twice recipient of the Million Dollar Loan Club, a distinction honoring KSBDC consultants who have secured more than $1 million in loans. Toni is active in her community and volunteers with Middle School Connection and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana. When not at work, Toni enjoys reading, volunteering, exercising and attending plays and sporting events.
502-625-0123 | toni.cardell@uky.edu
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