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Where in the world should you export?

International trade made easy?

Increasingly, U.S. businesses are not asking whether to export, but where. If you have recognized the benefits of a global market, you are not alone. Many of Indiana's companies already are profiting from the international-trade game. In fact, in 1991, Indiana companies exported $1.6 billion of product.

If you're considering exporting, here are some common-sense tips:

1. Think about selling to a foreign market in the same way you sell your domestic customers.

* Think about your product.

* What kind of person buys your product?

* What is it about the U.S. domestic market that has made you successful?

* Describe your ideal foreign market.

2. Target countries by key market indicators. Look for markets which have:

* political and economic stability

* availability of foreign exchange

* necessary level of development/industrialization

* desired population and demographics.

3. Look at countries that are importing products comparable to yours

You can obtain this kind of information from:

* electronic databases, including PC Globe or the National Trade Data Bank

* by contacting the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

4. Consider marketing your product with an experienced exporter whose product might be complementary to yours.

5. As a rule of thumb, budget at least $10,000 per country (some would advise to double that amount.)

OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER ARE:

* Distribution: Who will sell your product and distribute it? a broker? wholesaler? dealer? distributor? retailer?

* Your product: Does it need to be modified? How will you service your product?

* Methods of payment: Will you be paid in foreign currency or U.S. dollars? How long will it take? Will you need letters of credit and other documentation?

* Shipping: How will your product be shipped? What about insurance? Yours or theirs?

WHERE TO FIND HELP:

If you are interested in pursuing exporting and would like some assistance, contact:

* your local Small Business Development Center. There are 14 SBDCs across Indiana. Call 317/264-6871 to find the location nearest you.

* the Indiana Department of Commerce at 317/232-3527.

* the U.S. Department of Commerce-U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. Call the Indianapolis office, which serves all of Indiana, at 317/582-2300.

Jeanenne C. Holcomb is regional director of the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Centers, and is on the board of the Northwest Indiana World Trade Council.
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Title Annotation:Small-Business Tips; tips on international trade
Author:Holcomb, Jeanenne C.
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Words:390
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