The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at ICNC is ready to help you start exporting. And if you already sell abroad, we can help you reach more markets.
Thanks to a contract with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, we can now provide no-cost consulting services and market research assistance to help you through each stage of exporting, from analyzing your product or service to selecting target markets and finding distributors. And when you’re ready, we can help with securing financing and insurance to ease your entry into the market.
We also provide training and seminars to bring subject matter experts to ICNC so you can learn what you need to know right here in the neighborhood.
Why Should You Export?
95% of the world’s population lives outside America, and you should be reaching out to them!
Here are a few reasons companies export:
- Diversify market risk: Often, foreign sales will be up when domestic sales are down
- Extend product lifecycles: Some markets outside the U.S. will support products after they’ve started declining here
- Use excess capacity: If your staff or equipment has downtime, why not put it to use to sell abroad?
- Seasonal cycles: It’s summer in the southern hemisphere when we’re shoveling snow. If you sell something geared toward hot or cold weather you can even out your sales by adding complementary markets abroad
How Can ICNC Help?
The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center can help you with your exporting needs from start to finish. Whether you’re new to selling abroad or looking to build on your current exports, we’re here to help.
- Export readiness analysis: We can help you determine whether your product or service is ready to export, and if your company processes are ready
- Market analysis: ICNC can assist you in selecting promising countries to target for exporting, based on criteria such as current trade, local industrial trends, and purchasing power
- Market entry strategy: Whether you plan to sell directly or find a partner company for distribution or a joint venture, we’ll locate resources to helpFinancing for you and your customers: Financing inventory, machinery, and general working capital is different for international sales. ICNC can help you secure it. And through the Export Import Bank, the U.S. government can even loan money to your customers to help them buy from you.
Here are a few places you can go to begin learning about exporting and foreign markets. ICNC’s International Trade Center can connect you with many more.
- Export.gov – The U.S. government’s main site for exporting information, rules, leads, and market research. A good place to start.
- Food and beverage manufacturers export resources -Follow up from the ITC’s June 23, 2011 export seminar
- US Commercial Service Market Research Library -Create a free account here and you can download timely, comprehensive reports by country, region, or product/service to learn which markets you should target. If you’re already thinking about a specific country, look for the latest “Country Commercial Guide” for that country.
- The Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook -A good source for economic, political, and demographic information about 266 countries or entities.