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Expand Your Sales by Expanding Your Borders: Part 1 of 3

Posted by Carrie Pittman

Part 1 – The Opportunity That Lies Beyond the U.S. Borders

expand sales expand borders by exporting

Your company produces a good product for local or national distributorship.  Your profits are acceptable (but never as high as you would like), and your sales volume has seen some steady growth but, lately, has been stagnant. You have additional production capacity that you would like to fill.  Is exporting the answer to increasing sales and profits for your company?  One California manufacturer has found this to be the case, and has been recognized by the President of the United States for its efforts!

Combustion Associates, a Made in California manufacturer, is a fantastic example of the growth and success that results from exporting.  This Corona, California firm manufactures large-scale power generation systems.  On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington, D.C., President Obama recognized Combustion Associates as a small business that has achieved not only export success in global markets, but has contributed beneficially in the markets to which they export.  Due to their diligence, persistence, resourcefulness and support from various exporting services, they have been able to supply the village of Benin in Sub Saharan Africa with a source of power generation.  They export to 10+ markets around the world and recently received the prestigious U.S. Department of Commerce E-Award for excellence in exporting.  

So are you ready to take the leap into exporting your products?  Or, are you intimidated by the exporting process and its complexity and risk?  If you think of exporting as a “selling” function, it may be easier to determine if the opportunities outweigh the risks? 

This 3-part series of articles will address the opportunities, risks and best practices associated with exporting.   Hopefully, you will find, by reading these articles, that the opportunities far outweigh the risks and that, by employing best practices and a standardized approach, you too will realize profitability and growth through exporting!

In this article, we will address the numerous opportunities associated with exporting.  

Access to vast world economy through exportingImproved Access to a Vast World Economy

The world’s economy is expansive.  According to the International Trade Commission website,, more than 70% of the world’s purchasing power lies outside of the United States.

And, the Internet provides access to these buyers in global markets at a speed never before seen.  You can sit down at your desk and, by reviewing websites such as, you can gain valuable information about potential markets and how to begin the exporting process.  The world is at your fingertips!  

demand for product exportingIncreasing Demand for Your Products and Services

The United States only represents 5% of the world market. This means that 95% of the products purchased are bought outside of the United States!

As emerging market economies expand, the need to invest and build infrastructure is critical.  U.S. manufacturers can provide products and capabilities to support their expansion. 

As disposable income of consumers in emerging global markets increase, their demand for quality products increases. New customers with financial resources who want what you are selling – this is truly a recipe for success!

Here’s a just a sampling of products and services needed in overseas markets:

  • Transportation equipment, components, and services
  • Aircraft components, and services
  • Automobile components & accessories
  • Medical instruments & devices
  • Equipment to support agriculture
  • Equipment to support oil, gas, & mining
  • Food processing equipment
  • Food products

increased sales profitability exportingImproved Profitability and Sales

According to a study published by the Institute for International Economics, U.S. companies that export not only grow at a more rapid pace, but are nearly 8.5 % less likely to go out of business than non-exporting companies.

By exporting, you can achieve the following:

  • Expanded demand for your company’s products, equipment, components, & services
  • Market diversification 
  • Increased revenue

risk mitigation - exportingRisk Mitigation

You may currently see fluctuations in demand due to seasonality or consumer buying patterns.  However, when you sell to overseas markets, the buying patterns may be different and may provide sales in times of typical U.S. market downturns. 

The seasons may be very different, or even opposite in other areas of the world.  For example, the summer season in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile occurs during winter in the United States.  If you sell products for warm weather use, imagine the increase in December product demand if you sell your products in these markets as well as the United States!

These opportunities associated with exporting – risk mitigation, greater demand for your products and services, improved profitability and sales, and improved access to a world economy – should seem pretty appealing to any manufacturer.  So, why don’t more manufacturers export? 

The next blog post will discuss the risks (or perceived risks) associated with exporting.  These It is true that these risks keep many manufacturers from exporting.  However, as you will see, sometimes the risks are based on misinformation or perception, and most often, particularly for small and medium-sized manufacturers, the opportunities outweigh the risks.

Jim Watson - CEO-California Manufacturing Technology Consulting presentation on exportingIn the meantime, download our presentation on exporting delivered by our CEO Jim Watson on August 7th, 2014 at the Manufacturers CEO Roundtable in the City of Monrovia.

We at CMTC hope this series of articles causes you to entertain the idea of exporting (sell) your products outside the U.S. borders.  There’s a huge world market that is more accessible than ever, it’s time to get your products and services out there!

For assistance with export advice, contact Elizabeth Glynn or 310-984-0728.  

Going Global eBook

Topics: Exporting

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