Toolbox: Identify Resources
Tool Tip #2.1: Know Where You Need Help
Earlier this year, World Trade Center Utah launched its "10 Tips to Help you Think, Act and Succeed Globally." Since the launch, we have featured corresponding articles in the export toolbox section of our newsletter. We are pleased to revisit these "10 Tips" and dig deeper into topics that will be important as you pursue international business opportunities.
Our second tip, "Identify Resources," provided you with tools to help you expand internationally. In order for you to know what export resources to pursue, it is necessary for you to first define your needs. This article provides a simple framework to identify your export-related needs so you can move from the assessment stage of "taking a good look in the mirror" to actually connecting with resources that will aid you in your international efforts.
Identify Your Needs
If you have self-assessed your company as Tip #1.2 suggests and feel that:
(1) More preparation is needed before your company can export.
– Or –
(2) Your company is ready to export, but needs help with understanding an aspect or two of exporting.
Then it is time for you to dig a little further into exactly what your needs are. The exercise of defining your company's export-related needs will help you know exactly what resources to seek.
If you are in the first situation mentioned above, perhaps you assessed your company's export potential and found you did not have the buy-in necessary from management for international expansion. Instead of just accepting that management is not committed, you should define who isn't committed and why. Perhaps you will discover your COO isn't committed because he doesn't think there is enough demand for your product internationally. Defining these specifics allows you to accurately remedy the need by providing market research to company leaders.
Your company might be in the second situation mentioned above, feeling ready to export but not fully understanding a certain aspect of international trade, like shipping logistics. Asking the question, "How can we get our perishable product from Utah to England within a week?" is more practical than asking, "How do we ship something to Europe?" Targeting your research more specifically will help you efficiently use your time and resources.
Prioritize and Construct a Timeline
The article or Tip #1.4 describes how you can begin to internationalize your company's strategy by setting a goal to begin exporting by a certain date. Keeping this date in mind will help you prioritize the tasks required to address your export-related needs. Tasks such as building up product production will likely take more time and effort than committing management to the goal of exporting. Assessing each task will help you construct an accurate and actionable timeline for taking your products or services to new markets.
Don't know how much time a task will take? Bounce the idea off of an export mentor or someone else who has gone through the process. They can provide helpful insights you may not have been aware of otherwise.
Fact or Myth: Addressing export needs will pull necessary resources away from my business.
Myth. Preparing to export can help your business as a whole become more efficient. For example:
- Getting management buy-in for your international vision can increase management unity.
- Increasing production capability will be beneficial as you grow both in the states and abroad.
- Understanding how to market your product abroad will likely lead to fresh ideas for marketing it domestically.
In most cases, preparing to export will only strengthen your business, even if you have to dedicate some resources away from current operations.
WTC Utah can assist you in defining your export-related needs. Contact our trade services team at WTC Utah for a free consultation as you consider your exporting potential: firstname.lastname@example.org.