Going global is the way forward for small businesses. Sourcing supplies from overseas and exporting your products to other countries gives your small business endless opportunities to cut costs and expand your markets.
But finding international business partners is easier said than done. Although a simple internet search can get you a list of names and contact info, trusting a Mr. So-and-So on the other end of the world is another question.
How can you be sure that your internet browser has found you reliable, trustworthy potential business partners?
There are a number of US government bodies and non-profit organizations geared towards helping small businesses export their goods
Luckily, there are a number of US government bodies and non-profit organizations geared towards helping small businesses export their goods. These organizations have respectable, authentic sources and they’ll connect you with the best potential international business partners.
Here’s a list of a few organizations you can contact if you’re thinking about exporting.
United States Commercial Service
The United States Commercial Service (USCS) was created by the Department of Commerce to promote US trade abroad. The UCSC specializes in helping US small businesses find international opportunities.
The USCS offers many services to small business owners. These include tailor-made advice for creating a successful market-entry strategy, conducting market research, finding potential business partners, and participating in various trade shows.
The USCS offers help in navigating the paperwork associated with exporting, including export controls and filling out all the necessary documentation
In addition, the USCS offers help in navigating the paperwork associated with exporting, including export controls and filling out all the necessary documentation. (That’s pretty helpful, considering they’re responsible for creating that paperwork in the first place.)
If you already know which country you’d like to do business with, don’t forget to get in touch with the US Embassy located there. The larger embassies have specific personnel responsible for facilitating trade between our countries. They have a lot of information about your chosen market and are ready to answer your questions.
Here’s a useful tip: make sure to do your research before launching into negotiations abroad. Different countries come with different business cultures and customs. Read our international business guides and prevent getting sidetracked by cultural differences.
The USCS compiled an immense database of international trade and published it on Export.gov. The website contains market research, market entry strategies, practical advice, and other business tools about all major export destinations of the world.
Export.gov helps you plan your sales strategies, devise your approach to market entry, and connects you with international trade and business specialists
Export.gov helps you plan your sales strategies, devise your approach to market entry, and connects you with international trade and business specialists. The website acts as a one-stop-shop for all information about international trade.
US Chamber of Commerce
The US Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of US businesses, both domestically and worldwide. The Chamber operates on a membership basis, and currently has over 3 million members.
The Chamber provides many services for its members, including advocacy, resources, information on best practices, and advice for exporting. Helping small businesses to export is one of the priorities of the Chamber’s international agenda.
Becoming a member definitely has its perks for small businesses active both in domestic and international markets.
Country-specific Chambers of Commerce
There are several non-profit organizations that aim to promote trade between the US and a specific country. These associations help their members find suppliers and other business partners in that country, and may provide assistance in various other areas as well. These include market research, finding a supplier, and helping with trade show preparations.
There are several non-profit organizations that aim to promote trade between the US and a specific country
AmCham Canada, AmCham India, AmCham China, or AmCham Australia are just a couple of these Chambers aimed at helping US businesses export. If you already have a country in mind, make sure to check whether there’s a specific chamber of commerce available to help you.
The American Association of Exporters and Importers
The American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI) represents the interests of US businesses active in international trade. The organization provides education and information for all of its members about policies and practices that affect global trade. In addition, the AAEI advocates the interests of its members on international trade platforms.
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