Think Outside The Border-International Exporting

Think Outside The Border-International Exporting

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce states an interesting statistic highlighting the need to export.  They say that 95% of the World’s consumers are located outside the United States.  They explain what this means by giving the following equation, Global Customers = American Jobs.

“The equation is simple,” the Chamber says.  “The more sales American companies book, the more American workers they will hire to fill those orders. So when 95% of the people we want to sell something to live outside of the United States, we must open foreign markets to American goods and services so we can create jobs at home.”  knowing this, we’d say, “it’s time to get excited about exporting!”

Exporting can be exciting for many reasons; it can be very profitable, it creates jobs and contributes to a vibrant community. If you are not already thinking outside the border, you may want to consider doing so.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • If you are only selling domestically, you are only reaching a small share of potential customers.
  • Exporting enables companies to diversify their portfolios and to weather changes in the domestic economy.
  • Exporting internationally reduces dependence on the domestic market
  • Provides businesses with diversified sources of revenue
  • Extends sales potential and product shelf life of existing products
  • Stabilizes seasonal markets and sales fluctuations
  • The U.S. has 14 Free trade agreements with 20 countries which provides more exporting opportunities for U.S. businesses. Learn More about Free Trade Agreements.

The main reasons cited for businesses choosing not to explore global markets all deal with fear and uncertainty.  They may wonder where to begin.   It may be overwhelming for a business to engage in international sales; the company may think they aren’t set up to handle the demands of shipping internationally, maintaining a website in multiple languages, and collecting international payments. The great news is  there are resources available for businesses who want to forge new international relationships and grow their business.

Knowing  there is help available to businesses wanting to go international, The McPherson Industrial Development Company hosted a “Lunch & Learn” event about International Exporting on January 6th, 2016.  Presenting at the event were representatives from Kansas Global, the Kansas Department of Commerce International Trade Division and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The session gave McPherson County manufacturers the opportunity to learn more about the resources available to help businesses develop and execute a well-designed exporting plan. Attendees learned just how profitable a well designed, and well-executed plan could be to businesses and, in turn, our local economy.

A summary of some of the service resources offered through Kansas Global is consultation, education, promotion, research, facilitation & communication.  Kansas Global is dedicated to helping businesses excel internationally and can help you with your due diligence in identifying new markets,  as well as provide expertise in completing transactions, communicating with customers or partners abroad. They are also in charge of the south central region exporting plan, which sets out to bolster international exports in the south central region; McPherson County is included in this *10 County area.  One important element of the plan is that there is $100,000 worth of grant funds available that McPherson County businesses can access to help develop an international exporting strategy or strengthen their current exporting plan. * The 10 County region is made up of Butler, Cowley, Harper, Harvey, Kingman, Marion, McPherson, Reno, Sedgwick and Sumner Counties.

The presentation also highlighted the latest numbers from a Brookings analysis of data, showing attendees how McPherson County’s current export numbers compared to other counties in the south central region.   The analysis revealed that McPherson County’s export values were second only to Sedgwick County and also showed a 3% growth in McPherson County exports going from $462MM in 2012 to $476MM in 2014.  Exporting directly supports 2,157 of the roughly 17,500 jobs that are in McPherson County.

Other resources covered through the state were the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant and the Kansas International Trade Show Assistance Program (KITSAP).  Attendees learned that  federal assistance is also available to businesses looking to go global.  The U.S. Department of Commerce can help McPherson County businesses take their products or services internationally by helping to advocate for local companies in foreign markets, counseling and market research,

Attendees of the January 6th, “Lunch & Learn” expressed that the program was well worth their time to attend and were appreciative of the opportunity.  If you were unable to attend, but would like to have a copy of the presentation materials, please contact us.

The McPherson Industrial Development Company hosts a monthly “lunch & learn” on the first Wednesday of the month as a part of their industrial business retention program.  The next program will be February 3rd, 2016 and will feature guest speaker, Robert Fettke, Regional Project  Manager for the Kansas Department of Commerce.  Attendees will get an overview of economic development incentives available through the Kansas Department of Commerce and how they might qualify and secure these benefits.  Lunch is provided so please RSVP.