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The Future is Now: U.S. Small Businesses Overcome Export Barriers
(Released August 2008)

 
  by Peggy Olive  

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  1. Accessing Foreign Markets

    Salome Kilkenny.

    Network Journal, Vol. 15, No. 6, Apr 2008, pp. 28.

    "While the opportunities are vast, with ninety-five percent of the world population living outside of the United States, the majority of small exporters do business in only one overseas market," Steve Preston, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, said in a keynote address at the National Minority Business Council Inc.'s 28th Annual Awards Luncheon in February. "We need to make foreign markets more accessible in part because it will further unlock the power of small business to drive our economy forward." "Free-trade agreements eliminate or reduce tariffs, duties and quotas and work to create a level playing field for U.S. companies. They also work to reduce non-tariff barriers, which can make exporting very difficult for small businesses," Preston said. These barriers, from excessive paperwork to the inconsistent enforcement of customs policies or valuation of imports, require fixed costs that can be prohibitive for small businesses.

  2. Commentary: Internet resources for global business practitioners

    Cindi A. Trembley.

    Daily Record, Apr 22 2008

    Materials offered by the Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov/aboutsba/ sbaprograms/internationaltrade/index.html) cover a variety of information including financial assistance, trade publications and valuable links. "Breaking into the Trade Game: A Small Business Guide to Exporting," is a step by step guide intended to assist anyone considering entering the international marketplace. It offers practical suggestions relating to international markets, financing and transporting products. The Export-Import Bank of the United States (www.exim.gov) is the government's official export credit agency and serves to "assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services." The site includes tools for calculating exposure fees, provides country limitation schedules and offers useful products relating to the financial aspects of exporting. Online applications for insurance, credit and loan guarantees also are available here. A global directory of embassies and consulates can be found at Embassy pages.com. As noted by the Department of State, embassies are "the eyes, ears, and in-country advocates" for U.S. companies engaging in international business. For any company or an individual trading or doing business globally, knowing the number of the closest U.S. Embassy is likely as important as knowing how to get in touch with local authorities.

  3. Small Business Heyday Predicted

    Anonymous

    The Practical Accountant, Vol. 41, No. 4, Apr 2008, pp. 6.

  4. 5 Basics You Need to Know to Play in Today's Global Market

    Anonymous

    Principal's Report, Vol. 07, No. 9, Sep 2007, pp. 1.

    Tenet 3: Maintain high ethical standards. Maintaining the highest ethical standards and requiring that your offshore partners do the same have become business necessities in today's international climate.

  5. As barriers drop, even small firms go global

    J. K. Wall.

    Indianapolis Business Journal, Vol. 28, No. 16, June 25 2007, pp. A8.

  6. Beating the big guys

    William H. Wiersema.

    Electrical Apparatus, Vol. 60, No. 8, Aug 2007, pp. 36.

    As markets globalize, competition intensifies, and barriers to reducing costs of doing business decline. The lack of information by which to make an intelligent choice among vendors is no longer a problem. Fortunately for smaller companies, larger ones are often very vulnerable. The worst strategy for a small company to have, however, is to attempt to be all things to all people. To prosper, even to survive, small companies need to attack those areas in which large companies are weakest. Flexibility, special services, and specialization are advantages that many small companies pursue successfully. Pursuing niches profitably requires information to measure results. Without it, inadvertent, unprofitable niches may grow, generating only losses. The benefits of new technology may not justify its cost. Or, customization may cost more than customers are willing to pay. When this happens, it is time to find a new strategy.

  7. Exporting process complicated, so seek help from professionals

    Anonymous

    Corpus Christi Caller - Times, Aug 28 2007, pp. D.1.

    A: This is the second column of a two-part series. The first covered the foreign market potential and competitive advantages and disadvantages. Exporting is complex for small businesses but fortunately there are many commercial services available for a fee to make it easier. A lot of information and help are available free from governmental entities. The main choices are indirect exporting or direct exporting. Indirect exporting uses an export intermediary. It's a good choice if you want to export with minimum company staff time and up-front expense. There are several kinds of intermediaries to consider. Commissioned agents act as brokers, linking your product or service with a specific foreign buyer. They also may assist with packing, shipping and export documentation. Direct exporting takes more company staff time, expense and risks but may be more profitable. It's a good choice if you export relatively few products to a small number of foreign customers. If you're not an expert in exporting, you'll need to hire a freight forwarder to handle the numerous details of documentation, scheduling and tariffs. You also may need the services of a sales representative, agent or distributor inside the foreign country

  8. Exporting Risk

    David Czurak.

    Grand Rapids Business Journal, Vol. 25, No. 27, Jul 02 2007, pp. B4.

  9. Integration of U.S. Small Businesses Into the Export Trade Sector Using Available Trade Finance Tools and Resources: Part 1

    John Koch.

    Business Credit, Vol. 109, No. 9, Oct 2007, pp. 66.

    The first part of a series on the integration of US small business into the export trade sector using available trade finance tools and resources is presented. The low and relatively flat level of participation by US small businesses in export trade is of great concern to government leaders at the local, state and national levels. Despite all of the rhetoric and complaints by US small business owners that they cannot compete internationally, it is by and large their own failure for not expanding sales into international markets. For every obstacle or limitation cited by US companies, there are one or more solutions available in the form of private and public sector support and resource programs. A number of states, cities and universities provide export assistance for small businesses. More recently, privately owned merchant finance companies have begun to finance trade by providing purchase order financing.