FSBDC FGCU International TradeExpanding Your Business Internationally

As we approach the second half of 2014, many small business owners are probably wondering, what might transpire during the upcoming year of business. Given the uncertainty of our economy, governmental changes to healthcare, and an overall lack of consumer confidence, businesses are constantly being challenged. This unstable environment can create cash flow pressure for businesses and hinder growth opportunities. To make matters worse, banks have tightened lending requirements which have limited small business owners’ access to capital. Where else can businesses look for revenue?

One solution is to diversify and expand your revenue stream by exporting to international markets. With over 96% of the global population living outside the United States, there are bountiful opportunities for all types of companies. Over 98% of exporters in the United States are small companies and many have taken advantage of having an electronic storefront. US products still represent quality and a competitive advantage for companies overseas. Our government has placed an emphasis on export and wants to see export revenues double from 2.2 trillion dollars to 4 trillion plus dollars by 2015. It’s expected that this overseas growth revenue will support 2 million new jobs. The federal government has also put forth an aggressive plan regarding exporting called the “ National Export Initiative” with multiple agencies being involved including: Small Business Administration, Department of Commerce, US Commercial Service, US Export Assistance Center, Small Business Development Center, EX-IM bank and others. Having this level of support and expertise, companies with marketable/exportable goods should take advantage of this opportunity. The SBDC offers no-cost consulting services that will assess your companies export readiness, assist with marketing plans, and connect you with capital, if needed.

If you have further questions or would like to potentially pursue international opportunities, please feel free to contact me for a no-cost consultation. Our services are supported and funded by the Small Business Administration and Florida Gulf Coast University.

Article Written by:

Kevin Brady, International Trade Consultant

FSBDC, Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft. Myers, FL

(504) 338-9477, kbrady@fgcu.edu

To make a reservation for any FSBDC workshops visit www.sbdcseminars.org or call the main office at (239)745-3700.

The FSBDC at FGCU offers one-on-one, confidential, no-cost consulting and low-cost workshops for businesses throughout Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. It is designated by the state as Florida’s principal provider of business assistance.

State Designated as Florida’s Principal Provider of Business Assistance [§ 288.001, Fla. Stat.].