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The Benefits of Exporting for Small Manufacturers and How to Get Started

Posted by Steven Brand

Cargo Ship at Commercial Port

Sometimes, our vision of how a business is supposed to work changes by necessity.

But, whether through necessity or an open mind that’s constantly looking to their business, small manufacturers have may have plenty to gain when considering options to export goods to other countries.

As we stated in a previous blog, 95 percent of the world market exists beyond U.S. borders, yet less than 15 percent of U.S. manufacturers export their products. In 2015, California's GDP totaled $2.46 trillion, which means that the Golden State is competing with the United Kingdom for being the world’s fifth-largest economy! As global factors continue to evolve economies, players of all sizes are primed to seize opportunity.

Small manufacturers in Southern California are finding that, by opening their horizons beyond their local and national markets, they may be able to double or triple their sales by exporting outside the United States.

Learn How California's Exportech™ Program Can Help Your Business Grow

Getting Started

With such an opportunity, why aren’t more small manufacturers scrambling to increase their business? One reason is that many simply aren’t ready and don’t know how to answer some essential questions, including:

  • How do I even know if exporting is right for my business or industry?
  • If it is right for me, how do I get started?
  • What is the best way to integrate exporting efforts with my current systems?
  • What are the global logistics involved? Are there proven processes?
  • If I do experience major growth in a short amount of time, is there an optimal way to manage that growth?
  • What are some potential obstacles in my exporting efforts?

These are all valid concerns and need to be addressed if a company is considering entering the export market. But, fear of the unknown is something most entrepreneurs have dealt with in the past and it hasn’t stopped them from navigating previous business challenges.

Don’t Overlook Your Value 


The “Made in the CA” or “Made in the USA” symbol has major appeal for local and national markets. However, did you know that it’s also coveted in other countries, too?

A vast swath of international markets – including countries like Brazil, Russia, Turkey, India, Guatemala, Spain, Taiwan, China and more – prefer U.S. made products because of their reliability.

Counterfeiting is a significant problem on the world economy, and most counterfeit products hail from countries like China. Foreign markets want to know that what they’re buying is the real deal and are willing to pay higher prices to ensure their authenticity.

What Products Do Foreign Markets Prefer?

There isn’t necessarily a formula for what the international community wants from domestic manufacturers. However, here are some products that have proven to do very well overseas:

  • Medical and dental equipment and devices
  • Food items
  • Manufacturing and packaging equipment apparel, textiles and accessories
  • Aerospace, automotive, environmental
  • Cosmetics, supplements, healthcare, recreational products

The world’s markets continue to evolve at an ever-increasing rate. Your product could very well be the first to capture a foreign market.

There’s Additional Help to Make Your Exporting Efforts Take Off

You’ll probably want to seek the help and advice of manufacturing experts to help create an exporting program. These specialists can help in a variety of ways. This includes the development of a matchmaking service for the best-suited markets for your company. They can also provide invaluable coaching sessions to get you started so you can create a workable plan.

Check Out These Resources to Help Your Exporting Efforts Take Off

Logistics, legal, banking, regulatory and distributors – these are all details requiring some kind of assistance. Which of your products will work for various countries? The right expertise can get your exporting program on track within a relatively short period of time.

If you’re looking to improve your business in the New Year, exporting is a great avenue.

Is your business ready to export?

Topics: Exporting

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