New Markets for a New Year – Look out, world!

By Cathy Hagan
It’s time to consider pursuing across borders.  And by that, I don’t mean the borders of Georgia and Alabama.  It is a fact that the vast majority of the world’s population lives somewhere other than the US.  Small and medium-sized companies that export:
 * Have higher sales per employee and pay higher wages per employee
* Tend to be more flexible in the marketplace
* Have higher growth rates
* Find it easier to add or retain employees
* Tend to innovate at a faster rate
Are you reaching out to these markets?  Your competitors may be. You can find out what products are being exported – and to where.  The first step is to classify your product.  The Schedule B code is the number the US Department of Commerce and US Census assign to track exports.  You can search for your product’s code on the Census web site: https://uscensus.prod.3ceonline.com/ . Next, you can find information from the International Trade Administration on where your competition is exporting these products by visiting  TradeStats Express http://tse.export.gov/TSE/   USA Trade Online https://usatrade.census.gov/ is a subscription based source that provides even more detailed export statistics.
Knowing where your products are currently being exported gives you an indication that there is a market you may want to pursue.  Now you’re ready to learn the nuts and bolts of exporting.  It’s not hard, particularly if you take advantage of all the resources available to help you navigate through the process.  The Florida SBDC at UNF can help… a lot.  Check out these training opportunities:
International Trade: The Basics
Date: January 30 | 9am – 11am
Cost: $20
In this workshop, get more information about what it takes to get started in exporting.  Including:
·         The advantages of exporting
·         What it takes to export
·         How to plan for international expansion
·         The trade process
·         Overview of how to handle international market research, payment methods, and logistics

The International Trade Certificate Program
Date: Fridays, February 7- March 14 | 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Fee: $295 – Includes: course materials, subject matter experts, reference materials, continental breakfast, live case studies, free parking

The International Trade Certificate Program is a unique opportunity for businesses that are successful in the local, regional or national markets to explore taking their products or services global. If you are a growth oriented business, you should join us to explore international trade opportunities, challenges and resources available to help make your export venture successful.  Benefits for attending include:
 •   Identify available resources to help you succeed in the global marketplace.
 •   Learn the “nuts and bolts” of export transactions
 •   Receive practical information reinforced with “live case studies”
 •  Learn how to prepare for the “Certified Global Business Professional” exam, a designation offered through the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators.
 •  Network with other professionals involved in international trade
Both workshops will be held at the Herbert University Center in Jacksonville.  To register, go to 904.620.2476  or www.sbdc.unf.edu.
Cathy Hagan is a consultant at the FSBDC at UNF and regularly works with business owners to improve processes and increase the bottom line.  Prior to joining the FSBDC in 1993, she held marketing and training positions in both the health insurance and banking industries.  She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in business administration and is also a Certified Global Business Professional, Certified Business Continuity Professional and is a Certified Financial Planner designee.
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