By: Andrew Oppenheimer, SBDC guest blogger
Two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power resides in foreign markets. If your small business is operationally prepared to grow, look to the global marketplace and consider how international expansion can help expand your markets and reduce your costs.
Expanding internationally is more complex than growing your business at home, but for the agile business, the trade-offs are more than worthwhile. Besides, you are not alone in navigating foreign waters. The Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov) and the Small Business Development Center (www.scrantonsbdc.com) are here to support you.
But are you ready?
- Can your goods and services be tailored to local needs in other parts of the world?
- How will you sell your goods and services abroad?
- Can you source your materials more efficiently from overseas?
- Whether sourcing your materials from home or abroad, timing and quality are everything in production. You need contingency plans in place to mitigate risks to production efficiency. What are the specific risks that you might face by sourcing internationally, and are your current contingency plans adequate?
- Do you have the personnel available to devote to exploring your international opportunities? If not, do you know where to find them?
- Is your company’s governance structure flexible and open enough to respond to the challenges and opportunities that come with growth and overseas expansion?
Internationalization requires access to new financial, managerial and knowledge resources, and we are here to help you navigate the process so you can compete. We can:
- Assess whether you’re ready to export abroad.
- Provide free in-person counseling to help small businesses locate business opportunities overseas and obtain export financing.
- Assist with international market research.
- Help you create an international business plan.
Craft your vision and be prepared. The resources are here and the opportunities await.
For more information, go to the Office of International Trade’s website (http://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/oit), or contact the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center (firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-941-7588).