Here are a few frequently asked questions about Laurel Delaney’s book, “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.”
1. What’s your background?
I am the founder and president of Chicago-based GlobeTrade.com, a global marketing and consulting company that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses expand internationally. The company was established in 1985. In addition, we are the creator of The Global Small Business Blog, the No. 1 ranked blog for entrepreneurs and small-business owners interested in going global—established in 2004, well before people were blogging. The new passion that I’ve always had but never put into play until the last five years, is helping women expand their businesses globally under the nonprofit, Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global®.
2. What was the genesis for the book?
This is my second book on exporting. I still felt there was a need. A lot had changed since my first book. The Internet serves as an enabler for conducting business with the world. Yet, according to the International Trade Administration, only 1 percent of U.S. companies export. It speaks to the notion that not enough entrepreneurs and small-business owners really know how to go about exporting or are doing as much as they could. Further, Jeff Olson, my business editor at Apress, the company that published my book, reached out to me to write it. Good timing and I was so fortunate to work with him on it.
3. What are the main observations made in the book?
Anyone who wants to export, can. The world awaits. The essential element needed to be successful exporting is readiness. The rest is mechanics and know-how. And that’s what my book provides. Exporting equips you with the knowledge you need to market, sell and fulfill orders internationally, taking full advantage of the Internet and the opportunities it creates. It also imparts a can-do spirit on exporting, leading to greater revenues, stability and profitability for your business.
4. Why is exporting important for American companies to consider?
It’s a surefire ticket to growth for businesses—allowing you to crack open new markets and find new customers, increase your sales, raise profitability and create new jobs. Exporting is a dynamic force in producing a healthier business and a more exciting one.
5. What kind of companies is exporting right for?
Any company that has been successful on a local basis can export, provided it masters how to do it and there is a need for its product or servicing offering overseas.
6. What are the biggest challenges facing companies that are new to exporting?
- Lack of knowledge (meaning, they don’t know how to do it)
- Can’t find customers
- Fear of not getting paid
7. What about challenges for seasoned exporters?
Growing too fast internationally, not translating websites to accommodate visitors’ languages, currency fluctuations, and failing to look at other options for international growth in addition to exporting such as joint ventures, licensing, franchising and forming collaborative partnerships.
8. What are the best resources available for exporters?
There are so many good resources online now, but a few of my favorites are:
- International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce (http://trade.gov/index.asp)
- U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce (http://www.buyusa.gov)
- Export.gov (http://www.export.gov)
- Small Business Administration, International Trade (https://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/oit).
Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global® (https://womenentrepreneursgrowglobal.org)
9. How has technology and the Internet impacted global business?
It has made it so much easier to do business with the world. We can reach most of the world online with our product and servicing offerings. There are more than 7.5 billion people on our planet; 4.5 billion are online. That’s a powerful customer base to access.
10. What are the most important takeaways from the book?
With 31 chapters, that’s a tough question to answer. There’s a wealth of information, ideas, insights and practical advice in the book that will enable anyone to become successful in the export marketplace. For example, in chapter 31, I provide my 12 basic truths to achieving export success. Each one represents the culmination of the learnings and insights in the book. Let’s just say this: You won’t want to miss them!