Best Practices for New-to-Export Clients

Posted on Oct 21, 2014

That was the title of the presentation Allan Peterson (SBDC adviser) helped deliver at the Annual Conference of the Association of Small Business Development Centers.

The national conference was held in Grapevine, TX and Peterson was invited to deliver the 90 minute presentation with Vern Jenkins, International Trade Specialist for the Washington SBDC. Jenkins is located at the SBDC Export Readiness Center in Spokane.

The presentation highlighted the system created by the Washington State SBDC and gave SBDC business advisers from across the country a roadmap of the export advising process. The Washington State system has been nationally recognized by the Association of Small Business Development Centers as a best practice.

“Lots of SBDC advisers across the country are working with clients that have potential sales opportunities in other countries,” said Peterson. “This presentation gave those advisors a set of tools they can use to help their business clients turn potential export sales into actual export sales.”

The first step in assisting a new-to-export business is to go through an export readiness assessment that was developed by Jenkins. This assessment includes a SWOT analysis and internal business review to determine if the company has the capacity to begin reaching out to global markets. This is followed up with intensive international market research and the development of an international business plan. Finally, a review of available and relevant market entry strategies in foreign countries are covered with the business client.

Evaluations of the New-to-Export presentation were very high and attendees recommended that the presentation be repeated and made longer for next year’s annual conference.