September 2010


Almost all “tips” lists for international business include a recommendation to find a good partner – ours included. But what if you want more information before you jump in? Most states have either, or both, a U.S. Commercial Office and State Trade Office which offer workshops, and informational sessions on a regular basis.

As an example, this weekend I had a chance to catch up on various newsletters and thought the upcoming workshop in Minnesota “FINDING and MOTIVATING the RIGHT Foreign Business Partner” looks like it will offer some great information, and a chance to meet and exchange ideas with other business people.

http://www.positivelyminnesota.com/Business/Exporting_Trade/Calendar_of_Trade_Events/Seminars,_Conferences_Roundtables.aspx

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 As Dave Forest points out in the article referenced below, the United States exports relatively few consumer products, like t-shirts and CD cases. What may not be well-known is that the U.S. continues to enjoy relatively strong levels of capital goods exports.  In fact, Forest points out that capital goods exports levels earlier this year were at 2006 levels, still 35% higher than 2003.

 Opportunities to expand and increase revenue exist.  Take advantage, even in a down economy.

 http://oilprice.com/Geo-Politics/North-America/America-Export-Nation.html

Dan Brutto, President of UPS’s international division, shares international business best practices with small businesses looking to export. Why? This year’s UPS Business Monitor United States, an annual survey of U.S. small and midsize business exporters with fewer than 500 employees, found that one-third of respondents cited cultural or language barriers as the reason why they didn’t follow up on an international sales lead.

As Brutto notes, 96% of the worlds’ consumers are outside the U.S. Figuring out your international strategy now so you don’t have to play catch up later is good advice. Learning from others so you don’t have to make the same mistakes is also good advice. Check out Bruttos article here: http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/aug2010/ca20100823_647891.htm. And then check out our Top Ten Tips link. International business strategy is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’, and you will need to do your homework. But taking advantage of good advice? Priceless.