How an Export Product Business Is Born
by Laurel J. Delaney
This is a repeat post because many people over the past couple of weeks have emailed me asking “how do I get started with an export business?” Here’s an example of how the journey to exporting or launching an export business begins.
Imagine someone named Abel Anderson who is working in the automotive industry while running a food-export business. In the evenings and weekends, he goes to food fairs. Although he works full time in the automotive industry, his real passion is food. He’s always seeking novel food items to try.
At one local trade show that Abel attends in Chicago, he falls in love with a specialty item that tastes like cheesecake, caramel, chocolate, and butter crumbs all rolled into one scrumptious cookie the size of a hockey puck. He chats with the person at the booth named Samantha and asks her if she exports the product. She tells him she does not. Abel expresses interest in working with her baking company in his spare time as an independent contractor to export its products to a select few countries. Lo and behold, she agrees.
After spending a few days with Samantha making sure the ingredients in the cookie can hold up in overseas transit and pass regulatory laws, Abel draws up a contract. He then contacts the International Trade Administration via the Internet to conduct a partner search for agents located in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Oman—areas of the world where he thinks there is significant demand and enough wealth to purchase gourmet food products. Within three months and with the help of ITA, he lines up importing distributors in two countries—all just by using e-mail and Skype. He sends a test shipment of cookies to each location and discovers in the process that everyone who samples the cookies loves them. He receives his first order from the Dubai agent for ten thousand packages of cookies.
Abel is now in the export product business. It won’t be long before he gives up his full-time job in the automotive industry.
His story is an example of how the journey to exporting or launching an export business begins. Abel started first with his own good idea of exporting a product, and then, with the help of technology that most of us use every day, he was able to turn his idea into a new business venture. Here, then, we have a new paradigm for world competitiveness built on information and technology. So while nothing beats a good face-to-face encounter to help deepen your knowledge of a country and the customer, making the most of technology should also be a priority.
In the future, the economic transformation of countries will require businesses to rely less on selling to locals and more on selling abroad. This gets back to how exporting boosts economic productivity and also suggests its capacity to solve the problems caused by a growing world population, rapid urbanization, and even climate change.
Everything we do today is potentially relevant to consumers anywhere in the world, provided they understand what we are doing. Consider, for example, running a public relations firm. Think it has international legs? There’s only one way to find out. Buy the book.
Tip: Any product or service you sell no doubt has potential customers abroad. And guess what, you will need them all in order to stay relevant as the twenty-first century progresses.
©2019 Laurel J. Delaney. All rights reserved.
The above is an excerpt from Laurel Delaney’s book, “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably,” published by Apress (2016).
Photo courtesy: chuttersnap on Unsplash