How Do I Begin Exporting?

It has never been easier to export. The U.S. federal government has a variety of resources available to help small businesses with every step of the export process. They can help small firms understand basic export questions, secure financing, identify foreign buyers, and participate in trade missions.  With 95 percent of the consumer market outside of the U.S., small firms understand the benefits of exporting. 

The first step is to reach out to your local U.S. Commercial Service Export Assistance Center or U.S. Small Business Administration office. These agencies have experienced trade specialists that can assist your business with any question. To identify your local office, please visit www.export.gov or www.sba.gov. These trade specialists serve as consultants to guide your business through the entire export process. 

Once you form a relationship with the local trade specialist, they will help you develop an export strategy. Similar to a business plan, an export strategy outlines your company’s background, supply capabilities, marketing plan, and goals. This strategy is a key resource to prepare your company for every stage of the export process. Now you are ready to take the next step and to find new export opportunities. 

The export process can take anywhere from one month to one year, depending on the industry and market conditions. Exporting takes a strong commitment of time and resources, but the long-term benefits are clear. A report by the U.S. International Trade Commission showed exporting small businesses averaged 37 percent revenue growth from 2005 to 2009; compared to a decline of 7 percent for non-exporting small businesses. The time to export is now. 

Please feel free to contact us should you have any further questions on exporting for your business.