Last week, we partnered with UPS to introduce Exporting and Logistics to entrepreneurs in the NYC area. The event catered to entrepreneurs that were looking to expand cross borders and begin an international channel for their business.
How to Decide If You’re Ready to Export
Many entrepreneurs might believe the misconception that exporting is for “big brands.” However, there is a great opportunity for small and medium-sized U.S. businesses to export.
- In the US, 90% of exporters are single location small businesses
- Of these locations, 37% have fewer than 20 employees
- One third of successful exporting businesses are local boutiques
- However, less than 1% of companies in the US export
So why do less than 1% of companies export? Here are the top reasons stopping brands from exporting:
- Doubt – entrepreneurs doubt there is a population available and willing to buy
- Uncertainty – there is an uncertainty on how to reach new customers in foreign markets
- Fear – conducting business internationally is naturally seen as risky
How to Move Forward When You are Ready to Export
Research Demand and Price
It’s important to research the demand for your product in your target country for exporting. When you have narrowed your choices down to a couple of countries, research how competitive the market is and what other companies are present. How you price your product for international shipping will differ from your U.S. prices, so know what your shipping costs will be. You can call UPS and ask to speak to your domestic account manager to find out international rates. Another resource is US Small Business Administration, where you can discuss business structure and financing options with a representative. Contacting US Export Assistance Centers will give you access to free market research online and help you locate international distributors.
Know the Rules
Beyond pricing and demand, you should know trade and country-specific regulations that could affect the movement of your product to another country. Consider contacting the Bureau of Industry & Security, the Office of Foreign Asset Control, and the Office of Defense Trade Controls in order to learn more.
Interview: How NYC Jeweler Manages Shipping Internationally
Joshua is the co-founder of Enchanted Diamonds, a jewelry company located in the New York City’s diamond district. He shares his personal experience and tips on exporting. Here are some of his top tips:
- Fraud Check – When shipping international, don’t be afraid to ask customers to send a selfie or video in order to authorize their purchase and credit card information.
- Live Chat – This is the bread and butter for foreign sales. This options allows international customers to chat with a customer service rep immediately without paying long-distance calling fees. The number one question is “Is shipping included in the price?”
- Budget for Shipping – Use dutycalculator.com to check import and export duties.
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