ARE YOU READY TO EXPORT?

Take the Export Assessment Quiz

Use this quiz to see if your business is ready for exporting. Whether you are a new business, new to exporting, or want to expand your exports, our assessment will guide you to the appropriate resources. The quiz will focus on four general export topics:

  • Company Commitment
  • Planning and Strategy
  • Product Readiness
  • Export Mechanics

 

1. Does your company have a product or service that has been successfully sold in the domestic market?
A product or service’s success in the domestic market is a good indicator of its potential success in markets abroad. However, since selling domestically and internationally are entirely different ventures, it would be beneficial for you to read through the Basic Guide to Exporting to see what to expect when selling internationally.

 

 

2. Does your company have or is your company preparing an international marketing plan with defined goals and strategies?
Many companies begin export activities haphazardly, without carefully screening markets or options for market entry. A marketing plan allows your company to find and focus on the best export opportunities. Formulating an export strategy based on good information and proper assessment increases the chances that the best options will be chosen, that resources will be used effectively, and that efforts will consequently be carried through to success. 

 

 

3. Does your company have sufficient production capacity that can be committed to the export market?
It is important that your company can meet the demand that it is creating. You may need more space and equipment in order to manufacture for the specific countries you are selling to (who have their own product standards and regulations). Expanding into the international marketplace will result in a higher number of units to manufacture and you do not want this increase in production to affect quality of output. 

 

4. Does your company have the financial resources to actively support the marketing of your products in the targeted overseas markets?
Market development requires funds. This is a big hurdle for many companies, as it involves activities such as international travel, trade show participation, market research, and international business training. However, there are many government programs to help finance selling overseas. The Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration, and Department of Agriculture all have programs that provide financial assistance to U.S. exporters. 

 

5. Is your company’s management committed to developing export markets and willing and able to dedicate staff, time and resources to the process?
Management commitment is the number one determining factor for export success. Developing an export market takes time and effort. 

 

 

6. Is your company committed to providing the same level of service given to your domestic customers?
This is a commitment that you must make before beginning to sell overseas. A successful exporter treats his or her foreign business with the same commitment and service as the domestic business. 

 

 

7. Does your company have adequate knowledge in modifying product packaging and ingredients to meet foreign import regulations and cultural preferences?
Selecting and preparing your product for export requires not only product knowledge but also knowledge of the unique characteristics of each market being targeted. Market research conducted and contactswith foreign representatives should give your company an idea of what products can be sold and where. However, before the sale can occur, your company may need to modify a particular product to satisfy buyer tastes or needs in foreign markets, or legal requirements for the marketplace. For information on regulations and export controls and specific industry and regional information, visit the Trade Information Center web site at www.export.gov/tic.

 

 

8. Does your company have adequate knowledge in shipping its product overseas, such as identifying and selecting international freight forwarders and freight costing?
When shipping a product overseas, you must be aware of packing, labeling, documentation and insurance requirements. An international freight forwarder can help. These agents are familiar with the import rules and regulations of foreign countries, the export regulations of the U.S. government, the methods of shipping, and the documents related to foreign trade. Freight forwarders assist exporters in preparing price quotations by advising on freight costs, port charges, consular fees, costs of special documentation, insurance costs and their handling fees. For general information on shipping your product overseas, click here. For more information on freight forwarders, visit the National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of America at http://ncbfaa.org/.

 

 

9. Does your company have adequate knowledge of export payment mechanisms, such as developing and negotiating letters of credit?
Experienced exporters have extensive knowledge of export payment mechanisms and extend credit cautiously. They evaluate new customers with care and continuously monitor older accounts. It is always advisable to check a buyer’s credit. A U.S. Commercial Service International Company Profile (ICP) provides useful information for credit checks. An ICP contains financial information on a foreign company and a discussion regarding its size, capitalization, and years in business.

 

After answering these questions, you should have a general idea of where you company stand in regard to exporting. For more information, visit our Federal Agencies page for links to exporting resources.

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