Is the world your marketplace? It can be. The import/export industry is a trillion-dollar market, and according to the latest NSBA Exporting Survey, 64 percent of small business owners have sold products or services outside of the U.S. The news is even better for imports, which increased to $228.6 billion this year.
If you aren’t yet doing business globally, what’s holding you back? Some common fears small business owners have include:
- Not knowing where to start
- Don’t think they have the right goods or services
- Worries about payment and currency issues
- Concerns about costs, hassles and red tape
The truth is, now is a great time to get started trading internationally. With the U.S. economy still getting back on its feet, importing and exporting can be a good revenue source to balance out sagging sales domestically. Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to conduct business overseas. Last, but not least, the White House is encouraging trade efforts via President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which aims to double U.S. exports by 2015 and create or support 2 million U.S. jobs.
To get started conquering your fear of going global, read all you can about doing business internationally, talk to other entrepreneurs and your industry association for input and advice, and make an appointment with your local SCORE office to talk to a trade expert one-on-one. By starting a relationship with a SCORE mentor, you have someone who will be by your side throughout your journey to import/export success.