Grow Your Import or Export Business

Posted by: Mark Lohsen - Global Chamber Charlotte on Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Creating and growing an import/export business is not just for major conglomerates. 

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, big business makes up only about four percent of all exporters. The other 96 percent of exporters are small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

For SMEs contemplating becoming an exporter, there are three considerations that can smooth the entry into new markets: 

  • Trade with neighbors.  Canada and Mexico are America’s top two trading partners.  The North American Free Trade Agreement, currently under renegotiation, provides a ready infrastructure for selling products and services.
  • Study the major players.  Find out what is selling and if there are niche opportunities to gain a foot-hold.
  • Target the right markets.  Study the customers and their needs.  Use the terminology appropriate for the product / service in order to help customers in their qualification efforts.  Determine if local partners may speed your time to market.

There will be costs to get started, typically ranging between $5.000 and $25,000 for small businesses, but a home office, computer, and internet skills are the core components of a successful start. 

Global Chamber can then help with all of the subsequent steps, particularly with warm introductions and support in key foreign cities. 

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