Taking your business into new territories

Find out if you're ready to take the next step to global opportunities.

With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) encourages business owners to take advantage of global opportunities for new growth.

USCS has a worldwide network of assistance that is just a click or call away.

Where to Seek Help

Government entities including the Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, the Export-Import Bank, and the Trade and Development Agency are working together like never before to help U.S. companies establish and expand their businesses in the international market.

When is the right time to launch your international business? Take a look at these tipping points to plan your next step:

Tipping Point #1: Your business is well-established, but domestic growth has slowed or plateaued.

Tap into all available opportunities and take the initiative.  “You have to view the world as your market,” says Mary Joyce, USCS Midwest regional director. “When there might be a downturn here, there’s growth in another country.”

A good place to start your research is export.gov.  “Do your homework first.  Don’t be afraid to jump in the water, but don’t jump in without your bathing suit,” says Curt Cultice, USCS senior communications specialist.  “We can help companies avoid costly mistakes by helping set them up with the right partner.”

Tipping Point #2: International buyers are finding you on the Internet.

Mike Raindl, General Manager of Boedeker Plastics, Inc., discovered that the company’s website began to receive inquiries from outside of the country.  Raindl says, “We started to see it was becoming a bigger part of our business, and we said, ‘We need to understand this; we need to have a plan.’”

His UPS account executive told him about our relationship with the USCS.  With their help, Boedeker took its first steps toward exporting and now fulfills 10 to 12 international orders a day.

Tipping Point #3: You’ve established an export process for one or more countries, and you’re keeping up with demand.

Many times, a nearby country, or a country with similar market characteristics, offers U.S. business owners a chance to increase their profits without much pain. Cultice says, “If you’re already selling to Canada, why not sell to Mexico too? It’s all NAFTA. If you already export to Indonesia, why not the whole region?”

When you’ve selected a new expansion market, you may want to use the USCS’s Gold Key matching service located on export.gov’s sales and marketing page.  The USCS can arrange business meetings with prescreened contacts to jumpstart sales in your target market.

Matthews Studio Equipment, a maker of grip equipment for the film industry based in Burbank, Calif., sees international sales as an essential part of its business.  The company’s vice president for sales and marketing, Robert Kulesh, learned that a significant portion of his company’s new business is coming from international trade shows.  “They’re not cheap,” he says, “but you have to put your product out into the potential market.”