by J.F. (Jim) Straw
When most small manufacturing businesses start-up, they concentrate their sales efforts on the known markets here in the U.S. Defining their markets as the known users of their products; known distributors of those products; and known, or accessible, sales areas within the U.S., overlooking the larger, more profitable, markets outside this country.
Most small manufacturers who do investigate the possibilities of exporting their products GIVE UP after reading a number of Department of Commerce publications detailing the intricacies of export documentation, freight forwarding, and international banking instruments. (The same complex, intricate processing, paperwork jungle, methods I studied when I was 18 years old…and discarded after I made my first real sale overseas.)
What the Department of Commerce…and other learned sources …fail to tell you is that ALL of the necessary documentation, freight forwarding, and international banking aspects of exporting can be handled…easily and cheaply…by professional service providers who do it every day. As a matter of fact, the ‘cost’ of those services are so negligible it usually isn’t even necessary to make a provision for them in your pricing structure.
Exporting is, really, no more difficult than marketing your products here in the U.S. — All you have to do is…Make a Sale…Get Paid…and Ship Your Product. The rest of the procedures can be handled, inexpensively, by the customary service providers.
Beyond that, exporting can allow a small manufacturing company to grow…almost exponentially…because you will experience:
LARGER ORDERS — Importers in other countries won’t just buy one or two of your products (unless they are ordering samples). Due to the added costs of freight, insurance, and customs duties in their countries, they will order in bigger and bigger volume in order to reduce the per piece cost.
EASIER FINANCING — Since export orders are (almost always) accompanied by some method of payment…Letter of Credit, Sight or Bank Draft, etc…your local banker will (usually) be willing to advance funds against that documentation. Beyond that, both State and Federal Governments offer a wide variety of financing incentives…everything from free grants to production financing… for exporters. And, even the smallest of companies can qualify for that financing because the financial strength of the foreign buyer, not the manufacturing company, determines the creditability of the transaction.
LIMITED COMPETITION — No matter what you manufacture, you won’t have the heavy competition you might face here in the U.S. — Statistically, less than 20% of the manufacturers in this country export their products – and – of those companies that do export, fully 50% of them only export to one (1) foreign country. So, even if one of your competitors is exporting, the odds are you can still be the ONLY supplier in a number of other countries…without competition.
The only concern then is…
HOW TO MAKE THE SALES
…but, just as there are Manufacturer’s Representatives in the U.S. who will take a manufacturer’s products directly to the distributors, there are International Manufacturer’s Reps who will do the same thing for your company in the marketplaces of the world.
Usually, the employment of an International Manufacturer’s Rep doesn’t take any ‘out of pocket’ money…other than the provision of your usual printed materials, catalog sheets and brochures. — Like Manufacturer’s Reps in the U.S., International Manufacturer’s Reps pay their own way and earn commissions based solely upon the sale of your products. But, unlike their domestic counterparts, International Manufacturer’s Reps can, and do, assist the manufacturers in accessing necessary service providers, freight forwarders, banking and financing.
Exporting truly is the fastest … and easiest … way to grow a small manufacturing business. Just one export order can turn a small manufacturer into a mid-size manufacturer, virtually overnight. — As an exporter and international manufacturer’s rep for well over 30 years…with clients and customers in over 70 countries….I’ve seen it happen countless times. So…
If you are a manufacturer…looking to expand your business, exponentially, investigate Exporting today. — It’s much easier than you might think.
Having spent over 50 years in business, doing business successfully, J.F. (Jim) Straw now shares “Practical Instruction in the Arts & Sciences of Making Money” at the Business Lyceum. — http://www.businesslyceum.com