BusinessUSA.gov and its partner Export.gov feature resources for companies to become involved in exporting, from filling orders for domestic buyers (such as export trading companies that then export the product) to exporting products yourself. However you choose to export, the development of a detailed and thorough strategy is an important part of the planning process. Steps in developing a strategy include:
- Evaluating your product’s export potential;
- Determining if you are really willing to make a commitment to international markets and evaluating whether your company is “export-ready”;
- Identifying key foreign markets for your products through market research;
- Evaluating distribution and promotional options and establishing an overseas distribution system;
- Determining export prices, payment terms, methods, and techniques;
- Familiarizing yourself with shipping methods, export documentation procedures, export financing, and other requirements for exporting.
The Trade Information Center (TIC) trade specialists can help your company analyze its export potential. The Export Basics section of the website is also available to help you better understand the export process and evaluate your company’s export-readiness.
Other resources for exporters on BusinessUSA.gov include:
- Exporting Questionnaire , Self assessment questionnaire and assistance guide to determine if my company is ready to export?
- The Basic Guide to Exporting provides answers to questions about how to establish and grow overseas markets.
- An Export Business Planner to examine your businesses’ readiness and a tool to help planning for exports
There are also additional export training and counseling services:
- The Trade Information Center provides export counseling to U.S. businesses and individuals by phone and via the Web.
- The Small Business Development Centers offer free business advice and low-cost training to existing and future entrepreneurs.
- SBA has a network of SCORE Mentors who volunteer as mentors to small businesses.
- U.S. Export Assistance Centers (U.S.EACs) provide front-line outreach and service operations for U.S. exporters. The centers assist U.S. businesses that are new to exporting, want to expand to additional export markets, or want to increase their market share in existing markets.
- The Exporting Strategic Partnership Program promotes exporting and the government resources available to small and medium-sized businesses to export.
- The U.S. Commercial Service provides International Trade Advocacy to level the global playing field for U.S. companies pursuing contracts with foreign governments.
- MEP ExporTech helps companies enter or expand in global markets. The program assists participating companies in developing an international growth plan, provides experts who will vet their plans, and connects the companies with organizations like yours that will help them move quickly beyond planning to actual export sales.
- International Trade Missions help U.S. companies learn first-hand about overseas markets by attending market briefings, visiting sales channels, and meeting face to face with qualified potential buyers, agents, distributors, and other business partners.
- The International Buyer Program provides practical, hands-on assistance at select U.S. trade shows to U.S. exhibitors interested in exporting and making contacts with prospective qualified overseas trade partners. This assistance includes export counseling, marketing analysis, and matchmaking services.
- The Automated Export System is an electronic service for mandatory reporting of items exported from the United States.
- Dual-Use Export and Reexport Control Regulatory Compliance Assistance provides export regulations and compliance counseling, nationwide seminars, and online educational materials for exporters.