Good logistics agents will also do more than simply provide the means for your shipments to be delivered; they will offer you additional services to make the process easier. Some of the leading companies provide shipment cost (including duties, taxes and other import fees), time calculators, comprehensive country trade and customs information and automated processing. A good way to review your logistics agent is to ensure they have been certified by the Transported Asset Protection Association.
4. Secure financing: Expansion typically requires additional funds, but fortunately, because of the NEI and the country’s general push towards globalization, capital is generally available for business owners interested in expanding overseas.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s 7(a) program offers financing through its special loans and export loans programs. The U.S. Export and Import (Ex-Im) Bank provides working capital guarantees (pre-export financing), export credit insurance, loan guarantees and direct loans (buyer financing). On average, 85 percent of Ex-Im’s transactions directly benefit U.S. small businesses.
5. Utilize free resources: The best news for business owners expanding internationally is that you do not have to go it alone. In addition to the detailed information available to you through your shipping agent, there are numerous U.S. government and Chamber of Commerce websites that will provide detailed information and a roadmap on what’s needed to become a global company, including the following:
·U.S. Chamber of Commerce
·International Monetary Fund
·International Trade Administration
·The Federation of International Trade Associations
·U.S. Customs and Border Protection
·Association of American Importers and Exporters
·U.S. Export Assistance Centers
·National Association of Manufacturers
Opportunity is knocking for American small business owners to go global. With thorough research and a well-defined strategy, you can cross those international barriers.
Eugene Laney is vice president of international trade affairs for DHL Express, which provides international mail and shipping services.
Follow On Small Business on Twitter.
Do you have your own tips for entrepreneurs who are considering taking their business overseas? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.