As a member of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) National Advisory Board for the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA), I have an opportunity to visit SBDCs of excellence and see some of their best work.
Collaboration between organizations always seems to make the difference in having a center that’s a success and one that’s over-the-top on service delivery. One of the SBDCs that is excelling is the Massachusetts Export Center in Boston, which is operated by the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network in collaboration with a wide variety of export resources, including the U.S. Commercial Service and the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
The center was established to serve as a one-stop resource for export assistance and offers a range of targeted, customized services to Massachusetts businesses at any stage in the export process. A solid seminar program as well as people who are experts in regulatory process, market definition, and international connections are helping businesses generate hundreds of millions in export dollars every year.
Check out their podcasts at http://www.mass.gov/export/podcasts/
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers these eight reasons to export:
1. Decline in the exchange rate of the dollar is resulting in increase purchasing power in many export markets
2. The U.S. has manufacturing capacity and lots of workers available
3. Costs for transportation and communication have dropped
4. Trade barriers have been reduced
5. Exporting can increase sales and profit
6. Increase market and reduce dependence on domestic markets
7. Extend the sales potential and product life of existing product
8. Stabilize seasonal market/sales fluctuations.
Expert Export Resources
In addition to contacting your local SBDC for help, here are seven other resources to help you get on board with exporting:
1. Each SBA district office has an International Trade Officer that can help with trade financing. 2. Check out Export Basics from the U.S.SBA for export readiness support.
3. www.export.gov offers resources from across the U.S. government for market research, trade leads and information about export finance.
4. U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACS) are located in more than 100 cities nationwide and can help to connect you to the export resources that can help you be successful.
The SBA has three loan programs to help small business build export capacity. They are:
5. Export Working Capital Program for capacity building to support sales,
6. International Trade Loan Program for businesses that plan to export, and
7. Export Express that help businesses expand their export sales.