Starting an Export Business

International trade is one of today’s busiest industries. With advanced technology, the internet and social media, international sales are easier than ever before. With export outsourcing, you can build a thriving overseas business with rewarding and profitable results.

Cargo Ship - Export Business

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, American companies exported over $700 billion in merchandise to 150 foreign countries in 2015. Every type of product from food to household items are exported globally to businesses and consumers. Some products are shipped to overseas distributors, while others are shipped directly to consumers. Either way, international sales are thriving and growing every year.

If you have never done business out of the country, you will need to develop a business plan and strategy to succeed. You may need professional help with your plan to develop your startup costs; target market; resources; marketing plan; business operations; and financial operations. Hiring a professional export management company can help you with international sales and overseas exporting, often complicated tasks. They can help you find distributors; build overseas advertising; develop marketing plans; create eye-catching packaging; and work with international shipping companies. A professional outsourcing company can also help with licenses and overseas financing which are regulated by the Department of State and the Department of Commerce.

Although international sales may seem like big business, statistics show that the big guys only make up four or five percent of exporters. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 95 percent of U.S. exporters are small businesses. Depending on the size of your business operation and your product resources, you will probably need help with product distribution in another country to ensure business success.

* Manufacturer’s Representative – A salesperson who specializes in the type of products that you sell. This person can often help you with warehousing needs and technical service as well.

* Retail or Wholesale Distributor – A company that buys the product you export and sells it to a retailer or other agent for further distribution to the end user.

* Representative – A knowledgeable salesperson who can represent your product to buyers, then direct the sales to you. Unlike a manufacturer’s representative, a representative can represent a variety of products or different types of products.

* Retailer – If you’re selling directly to consumers, you may need an overseas retailer to merchandise and show your product. Direct sales to consumers can be difficult in a foreign country without a retailer.

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