If you think your product, service or business idea is one that would sell well beyond the borders of the United States, this resource section may help you think through the many steps needed to grow from a local or regional company into one that exports to foreign countries.
You might be surprised at the number of companies in New Hampshire that export their goods and services to foreign markets. According to the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, 2,200 companies in our state export goods or services and the majority of these are small and mid-sized businesses. It is somewhat unusual for a state’s small and mid-sized companies to lead the way in exports, but New Hampshire ranks sixth in the nation in this regard. The most common countries to which we export are Mexico, Canada, China, Germany and the United Kingdom.
THINKING ABOUT EXPORTING?
If you are just beginning to think about exporting your product or services to another country, the best place for you to start is the resources provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The SBA provides several training videos to help businesses become Export Ready. “Take Your Business Global - An Introduction to Exporting” is a half-hour online presentation that may help you determine if exporting, as a business strategy, makes sense and whether you are ready to export. Strategies for Growth: Exporting Opportunities - Advice from an Expert includes interviews with successful entrepreneurs and experts who will help you see if your product has potential in an overseas market.
The Export Business Planner can be downloaded and customized to help you plan your business exporting possibilities and to continue to grow them once you begin exporting.
The SBA has many other training programs, workshops and resources related to exporting, including loan programs for businesses which qualify, to help cover exporting expenses.
As a New Hampshire-based company, contact the New Hampshire Small Business Center when you are ready to explore exporting.
EXPORT AND TRADE COUNSELOR
Among the team of business advisors at the NH SBDC is a certified Export and Trade Counselor, who received special training from the U. S. Small Business Administration. The Export and Trade Counselor works with clients to determine their “export readiness”. This may involve a review of the company’s business plan and/or the financing outlined in that plan.
The advisor may help a company determine that it is ready to export to the nearby countries which are often the most likely candidates to import our country’s goods-- Canada, Mexico or the United Kingdom, for example. For those New Hampshire businesses that are fully ready to export, the NH SBDC counselor can connect that client to numerous resources including the International Trade Resource Center (see below) and the U.S. Department of Commerce. At this stage, the client may also be linked with the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee, an inter-agency task force that ensures coordination between all federal agencies.
New Hampshire Small Business Development Center offers e-courses about exporting:
• Basics of Export Documentation reviews the documentation requirements, rules, and regulations around the sale and movement of your product to a foreign market. The course is designed to give you a good grounding in understanding what’s necessary and in leading you to more advanced resources.
• Basics of Online Global Marketing can get you started thinking about using the Internet to reach your target market in foreign countries. It explores how to develop a website with e-commerce features that are appropriate to the cultures in which you’ll be selling, as well as social and mobile marketing.
• Finding Your Export Markets helps beginner exporters first to determine if they are ready to export and then to research and analyze potential markets, identifying those countries around the globe to which they might sell their particular products or services.
Each of these e-courses is filled with links to other organizations that can be helpful in the exporting process, to private vendors and to books and websites to help complete your education in the many facets of exporting. Additional worksheets and resources associated with these two e-courses can be found in the Resource Library section of the NH SBDC website.
Other SBDC Resources
• Georgia SBDC's International Trade Center's website, www.Export-U2.com, was specifically designed to help small businesses safely cultivate export sales. Its easy to use format allows you control the pace and sequence of learning, to access and download supporting materials, and to communicate with the instructor. The sessions are pre-recorded and available 24/7.
Other Agencies in New Hampshire
NEW HAMPSHIRE INTERNATIONAL TRADE RESOURCE CENTER
The New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center offers a full range of services to help businesses enter and succeed in the global marketplace. The resource center is housed with the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, working closely with the U.S. Office of International Commerce.
New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center
NH Department of Resources and Economic Development
International Program Manager
GRANITE STATE DISTRICT EXPORT COUNCIL
The mission of the Granite State DEC is to encourage and support exports that strengthen local business, stimulate economic growth and create jobs. It participates in business expansion activities by working with the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service offices and its export promotion partners at the state and community level to support greater export activity within New Hampshire.
EXPORT.GOV/ U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Export.gov is a website provided by the U. S. Department of Commerce and is designed to showcase all the resources of various federal government agencies in one central location. The site contains information for businesses thinking about exporting and those who wish to expand their exporting efforts. The U.S. Department of Commerce can also be reached at 1-800-USA-TRADE.
The site contains country-specific guides on doing business, current data regarding exporting to other countries, and a list of training opportunities that includes trade shows, live events and online learning; and specific information about how to research the markets you may be interested in joining.
The United States Department of Commerce has a branch office based in New Hampshire.
Justin Oslowski, Director
U.S. Dept. of Commerce/U.S. Commercial Service
Taylor Little, International Trade Specialist
U.S. Dept. Commerce/U.S. Commercial Service
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
In addition to Export.gov, the United States Department of State may be of interest to you as you begin to export or plan to travel to specific locations. The agency provides background information on each country that may be helpful in planning exporting or foreign travel.
U.S. COMMERCIAL SERVICE-NH
The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.