If you’re a product creator, it’s not surprising that you may have considered exporting your goods outside of the U.S. But for those of us who provide business services that can be delivered virtually, did you know you can export that as well? You can!
You don’t have to have something physical to pack up and mail - you can sell many things abroad that can be considered an export.
This is fabulous news for trainers, information technology, marketing and advertising agencies, graphic and web designers, coaches, and consultants to name a few.
After working with great clients here in the USA, I decided to explore a new growth strategy and export my coaching services to a similar target audience abroad.
How To Get Started Exporting Your Professional Services
I found robust resources from the International Trade Administration. This is the U.S. government's resource for competing in the global marketplace. Another valuable resource is the NJ business trade site, which gives you a great start in developing your export plan.
As with any new program, there are formalities and processes to follow. But the step-by-step guidance keeps you on track, and once that is accomplished, the door is now open for a whole new global experience of working with diverse clients.
The US Government supports businesses in this effort through the US Commercial Services Department.
They provide resources in a variety of ways including:
- Learning how to export
- Researching foreign markets
- Networking and learning events with other exporters
- Finding buyers and partners
- Obtaining financing
- Negotiating an export sale
- Navigating shipping and logistics
- Complying with US and Foreign regulations
- Performing due diligence
- Protecting intellectual property
- Resolving export problems
There are also grants that reimburse specific exporting activities.
Each state has its own State Trade Expansion Program and this can be an excellent opportunity for you to grow your business while also learning and embracing other cultures. Just think – your perfect client may be abroad, and with your trusty internet connection, this experience is within reach.
Learning About the Business Cultures Overseas
After researching online and submitting applications, you would be invited to attend trade conferences to develop relationships and get to know the country, its people, and exposure to the culture. There are US liaisons for each of these countries; as well as coaching groups that coach exporters in the nuances of doing business overseas.
The countries that participate in the trade conference are attracted to the thought of doing business with American countries. They are curious and willing to learn the American way of doing business.
Also, keep in mind that there are many Americans who have opened their own businesses overseas, and American executives working in international companies located outside of the U.S. Often, they prefer the guidance of an American professional, and this is where you come in!
My Own Choices In Exporting My Coaching Services
Working with small business teams and their leaders, as well as growing non-profit organizations in the U.S., I made the decision to embrace the opportunity to expand my target market overseas. If you’re exploring this path you can choose to keep to your same target market as you serve at home, or you can expand globally into a different target audience.
Specifically, I am open to meeting and working with family-owned small businesses that are native to Mexico, Barbados, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic. These are the cultures that fit well with my experiences and my own culture. Overall, while you’ll be serving clients in a different country, it’s best to get started with an ideal client profile with whom you have a connection and a comfort level.
Aside from geography and culture, business is business, and I know that the companies abroad deal with many of the same business development struggles I help companies with here at home.
If you know someone in the countries, I’m serving who is in need of strategic planning, professional development for their team, improving their company culture, sales training, or succession planning, please think of referring me. I welcome an introduction.