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Published October 10, 2019
A weekly look at issues facing Wyoming business owners and entrepreneurs from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By John Privette, regional director, Wyoming SBDC Network
Regardless of the news on trade agreement negotiations, international trade continues to present opportunities for Wyoming small businesses. In support of international trade, the state of Wyoming established an Asia-Pacific trade office in Taipei, Taiwan, in 2018. This means Wyoming small business has in-country trade specialists to assist in market development by identifying possible buyers and trade events.
Listed are five key considerations when evaluating if your business is ready to develop an overseas market, whether in the Asia-Pacific region or any other country:
-- Commitment. Businesses new to exporting can expect to face numerous challenges including redesigning packaging, establishing logistics or getting paid. The market development process takes time -- often two to three years to establish a foundation. It is important that the business understands this, mistakes may happen, and setbacks may occur. Strong management support is critical to achieving success in overseas markets.
-- Research. To be successful in international trade, a business must research the potential markets. There are many factors to consider including the market demand for your product, the market growth prospects and competitive landscape. The Wyoming SBDC Network is available to assist your company in conducting this research.
-- Focus. Exporting will create new operational processes within your company. In most cases, new-to-exporting companies begin by exporting into just one overseas market based on the research. The experience gained from that focused effort is applied toward new international markets. If the Asia-Pacific region provides opportunities for your product or service, leverage the expertise in the Asia-Pacific trade office to assist your market development focus.
-- Resources. Developing an international market requires resources -- primarily time and money. A company with revenue growth from domestic markets is usually in the best position to exploit international opportunities. There is a steep learning curve when entering an overseas market including packaging, regulation, documentation, logistics, and marketing and sales requirements. Having a dedicated person as an export specialist is beneficial.
-- Knowledge. Look for opportunities to develop and expand the export knowledge for company employees. The Wyoming SBDC Network is a good first stop for international trade education with several export-topic webinar recordings available and an international trade specialist to answer your questions. If your product is value-added agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Western United States Agricultural Trade Association organization offers cost reimbursement programs to assist in market development. There is no better education than to visit the market. For more information, go to www.wusata.org.
If you would like assistance with expanding your market overseas, contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network adviser at www.wyomingsbdc.org.
The Wyoming SBDC Network offers business expertise to help Wyoming residents think about, launch, grow, reinvent or exit their businesses. The Wyoming SBDC Network is hosted by UW with state funds from the Wyoming Business Council and funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email email@example.com, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.