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Wyoming Business Tips for Nov. 2-Nov. 8

October 24, 2014

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By John Privette, WSBDC regional director

“My company received an international order for a product. Should I start exporting?” Amanda, Cheyenne.

Many times a company becomes an accidental exporter, in that the business receives an international order for a product and struggles through the process of fulfilling and shipping the order.

This international interest usually creates the requirement to determine if exporting is a viable sales and distribution option for your company. The first step is to evaluate the export potential of the company product.

Commonly, the domestic sales of the product will indicate if the product may sell in markets abroad, at least in those markets where similar needs and conditions exist. The company potential in exporting also can be assessed by the product’s unique features and advantages that are hard to duplicate by competitors in the export market. This may suggest that demand is sustainable.

Next, a company has to figure out how to determine what international market to enter.

The complexities and dynamics of export markets require careful evaluation before entering a selected market. This is where market research is required to provide information in order to screen potential markets. This research and analysis allows your company to assess if the targeted markets for entry are suitable given the company’s available resources.

Most importantly, and before deciding to enter an international market, the company’s export readiness must be determined. These five organizational readiness factors are important considerations toward increasing the probability of exporting success:

-- Management commitment. Export success is determined by the dedicated backing from company management.

-- Funding support. Export success is determined by appropriate time, resource and budget allocation.

-- Personnel expertise. Export success is determined by staff members with international experience or employees willing to learn about the international marketplace.

-- Product capabilities. Export success is determined by the company’s capabilities to meet the product standards and regulations for the targeted export country.

-- Company exporting goals. Export success is determined by a financial review of the strategy: Does the return on investment from the expected benefits outweigh the cost?

The Wyoming Entrepreneur Small Business Development Center is available to assist your company to determine its export readiness, evaluate potential international markets for entry and create an export marketing plan.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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