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Wyoming Business Tips for Nov. 22-28

November 13, 2015

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

“How does a business evaluate exporting opportunities?” Harold, Pinedale

Selling internationally provides business expansion opportunities.

Nearly 96 percent of consumers live outside the United States, and two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is in foreign countries. Wyoming exported more than $1.8 billion in goods and services to foreign markets in 2014, and the largest export market is Canada. The Internet has increased exporting opportunities for many small businesses.

In addition to the SBDC international trade advising services, there are many resources available to help businesses determine if exporting is a viable business option. A website for useful exporting information is found at www.export.gov/index.asp.

Some important things to know:

-- Export readiness: Expanding your business to sell products abroad can be financially rewarding, but also involves risk. Being export ready helps mitigate many of the risks of exporting. Typically, if your product has experienced domestic success, that is a good indicator that you may be ready to expand into foreign markets. A useful checklist to determine export readiness can be found at  www.export.gov/begin/assessment.asp.

-- Export strategy: Export planning begins with the development of goals, objectives, capabilities and the identification of constraints and opportunities. This process will identify the benefits and trade-offs of international market expansion. This strategy development process includes conducting a thorough business and product export assessment, and researching potential foreign markets.

-- Marketing plan: Once the export strategy is crafted, the development of the marketing plan defines precisely the “what” and “how” of selling the product into international markets. Two important elements of making a successful entry into international markets include: determine how to enter a foreign market, either direct or indirect; and, understand the documentation, logistics and payment methods of going global.

The Wyoming Entrepreneur SBDC is available to help your company develop an export plan to navigate the international trade landscape.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.

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 wsbdc@uwyo.edu, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.


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