April 14, 2017      wtcutah.com   Facebook Twitter   LinkedIn   Instagram

Helping Utah Companies Think, Act and Succeed Globally

CEO Derek Miller

President's Message
Derek B. Miller, World Trade Center Utah

Last week we were thrilled to announce that we have entered into a formal, contractual relationship with the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) to oversee all of the state's international business promotion activities, including trade missions, trade shows and foreign direct investment (FDI) efforts.

The contract leverages our World Trade Center Association affiliation, experience and structure to create significant cost savings and increased efficiency in the state's international business efforts, while also bolstering our mission to help companies find more customers, expand their markets and grow their businesses.

The addition of trade missions, trade shows and FDI is a natural extension of our current services and will enhance our ability to help create jobs and expand Utah's economy. We are excited to lead the state's international business promotion efforts and help realize the governor's vision to make Utah a premier global business destination.

WTC Utah has extensive experience with international business promotion. In 2016, our team team consulted with more than 200 Utah businesses to help them successfully export. The WTC Utah team also partnered with GOED to help organize and lead three successful trade missions to Mexico, France and Canada. These trade missions provided avenues for more than 80 individuals to connect with international business opportunities and partnerships abroad. We also plan many events to train and educate the business community regarding international business opportunities and challenges.

We appreciate our partners at GOED for trusting WTC Utah with this new opportunity and we look forward to expanding our reach as we teach Utah business leaders how to think, act and succeed globally.

Happy exporting!

Register for the Utah County International Business Forum

Whether you are looking to expand into your first or fifth global market, the Utah County International Business Forum will have information helpful to your quest. Join WTC Utah on May 15 from 12-2 p.m. for this informative event, which will be hosted by Nu Skin at its corporate office, 65 West Center Street in Provo.

Expanding your business internationally helps increase your revenue and builds the local economy. Come learn the essentials of exporting and what steps you can take to grow globally. The International Business Forum is hosted by World Trade Center Utah and Nu Skin.

The event is free, but registration is required.Click here to register.

Discover Global Markets

Join the U.S. Department of Commerce Sept. 18-20 for the flagship event, Discover Global Markets: Europe & Beyond, in Cleveland, Ohio, where attendees will uncover new exporting opportunities, learn from seasoned exporters and connect with hundreds of networking contacts.

Attendees will have opportunities to meet one-on-one with U.S. Commercial Diplomats visiting from abroad; participate in panel discussions on the latest industry trends; identify new and emerging markets of opportunity ahead of your competition; learn about U.S. export programs designed to cut your time to market; and network with U.S. trade officials, leading private sector experts and like-minded U.S. businesses active in overseas markets.

The event includes content that is valuable for company presidents, CEOs, COOs, CFOs, international sales and marketing executives, business developers and global logistics and trade compliance executives. For more information about the event contact Judy Kornfeld: Judy.Kornfeld@trade.gov

Going Global: Listen Technologies

With more than 360 million people worldwide suffering from moderate to profound hearing loss, an exciting opportunity exists to enrich the lives of consumers across the globe with solutions that bring power and clarity to the sounds that make life meaningful.

Making life more meaningful through sound is the mission of Bluffdale-based Listen Technologies (or "Listen"), a company that innovates technology to provide clear, focused and personalized listening experiences for consumers, even in the most noisy and difficult environments.

Senior Marketing Manager Kim Spencer says Listen has been engineering and manufacturing assistive listening products in Utah for more than 17 years and has a rich history of success. Founded in 1998, Listen started by doing something the founders felt passionate about, something that would help a growing number of people around the world to hear better.

"Nearly two decades later, we continue to expand our reach through an innovative line of products and a passionate commitment to its customers to deliver the best hearing assistance solutions," she adds. "Our products have enhanced the quality of listening for millions of people across the world and we are passionate about serving our customers with innovative listening solutions."

Listen's products are designed in-house and manufactured in China. The company employs approximately 50 people at its Utah headquarters as well as many strategic partnerships across the globe through its distribution network.

Spencer says the company's "Assistive Listening" products are recognized as some of the best in the industry. The technologies include ListenRF, ListenIR, ListenWiFi, ListenLoop and ListenTALK. Listen products are commonly used for tour groups, assistive listening in theaters, classrooms or large stadiums. In addition, hearing loop technology offers a personal and discreet listening experience to anyone with a telecoil technology in their hearing aid or cochlear implants without having to carry additional equipment.

"Hearing loss is often referred to as the invisible disability. We are continually innovating new products to address that disability and fit the needs of every consumer," she adds.

In 2006, Listen launched its global initiative, taking its products worldwide with distribution partners in Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, South America and India. In January, the company won an award from the International Association for Universal Design (IAUD) in the category of communication design. The IAUD Awards selection committee praised Listen' "ListenIR" product, which is an assistive listening system that uses infrared (IR) technology to provide quality audio in classrooms, corporate boardrooms, theaters, courtrooms and anywhere a private audio signal is needed.

Spencer says ListenIR delivers audio wirelessly from a transmitter within the venue to small receivers that individuals wear on lanyards around their necks, or can be clipped to a belt or purse strap, whatever is more comfortable for the patron.

The company recently engaged with World Trade Center Utah to receive one-to-one guidance as it continues its global expansion effort. To learn more about Listen visit www.listentech.com or call 801-233-8992.

Call for Nominations: WTC Utah to Recognize Utah International Business Leaders

In anticipation of the upcoming Utah County International Business Forum, World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) is requesting nominations for the Champion for International Business Award and for the Vanguard in International Business Award. These awards recognize companies and individuals who are strengthening Utah's economy and creating jobs through international expansion.

A successful candidate for the Vanguard in International Business Award meets the following criteria:

  • Utah-based business headquartered in Utah County
  • Has successfully exported for at least one year
  • Has potential for increased export activity

A successful candidate for the Champion for International Business Award meets the following criteria:

  • An individual from Utah County who supports and advocates for businesses expanding into international markets.

The awards will be presented by WTC Utah at the Utah County International Business Forum on May 15 at the Nu Skin headquarters. The goal of the forum is to provide attendees with information about exporting that will help them take their companies and community to new heights. WTC Utah President and CEO Derek B. Miller will provide keynote remarks and a panel of exporting experts will share best practices and lessons learned. The forum will be emceed by Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development.

Click here to nominate an individual or a local business. Nominations must be submitted by April 21, 2017. Award winners will be announced prior to the forum.

Toolbox: Asking the Right Questions

Tool Tip #1: Take a Good Look in the Mirror

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 first tip, "take a good look in the mirror," challenges you to assess your export potential. But before you can assess your potential, you need to know what to look for. To help in this process, the following article will help you ask the right questions as you consider business expansion through exporting.

Are You Ready to Export?

How do you know when your business is ready for international expansion? Exporting is a long-term strategy and investment that can pay great dividends. However, trying to expand internationally when you and your business are not ready can undermine your export efforts and jeopardize your position in the domestic market.

While there are many questions to ask yourself as you assess your export readiness, here are a few of the most important to get you started:

Are my company's products successful in the domestic market?

For your product to be successful in another market, it is essential that you understand your product's competitive edge, how to market it and how to service your customers. If your company fully understands these things, you will likely have experienced success in the U.S market. While a successful product domestically generally translates to a successful product internationally, there are instances when a struggling domestic product can find success internationally.

Do we have the resources (money, time, personnel) to commit to a long-term export strategy?

Understanding which country to enter, making product modifications, and managing international logistics will take resources away from your current company operations. Like any investment, exporting requires committed resources in order to be successful.

Is our management committed to exporting?

If the management team is committed to seeing success in your international expansion, they are more likely to support a shift in resources. They will build employee confidence and innovation around the company's international strategy.

An uncommitted management team will undermine the resources allocated to international expansion, stifle the confidence from other employees in the international strategy and hinder coordination. The investment of international expansion requires that exporting cannot be an afterthought or just a curiosity of management.

Do we have the production capability to support expansion?

In order for you to reach out to more customers internationally, your production capabilities need to be ready to meet potential demand. You will need to consider the longevity of your supply chain and the time it will require to increase production. This will help you focus on the management of your production and the commitment you have from your suppliers.

Fact or Myth: The Reality of Export Readiness

1) You should wait until you're a "large" company before you export.

Myth. 97 percent of the companies that export from the U.S. are small- or medium-sized enterprises (SME's). With new modernized processes and technology, it has never been easier or more profitable for smaller companies to export. SME's have benefited greatly from the trade agreements that eliminate many tariffs/taxes between the U.S. and other countries.

2) You must be willing to take on additional business risks when exporting.

Fact. Exporting brings new complexities with more moving parts and, unfortunately, more risks. However, you should consider those risks as an investment that can pay great dividends. Many local and national service providers, including World Trade Center Utah, are readily available to assist you through these complexities.

Need Assessment Help?

Still not sure if you are ready? Reach out to our trade services team at World Trade Center Utah for a free consultation where we can help you assess your export readiness. Call us at 801-532-8080 or email us at info@wtcutah.com.

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