Everyone knows the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”
Well, BettySue cannot help herself. She wishes for lots and lots of newbie exporters. She has been traveling around, preaching the gospel of exporting to anyone who will listen.
Newbies require special attention, extra attention. They require extra time to get them up to speed. Maybe it’s the extra time and energy that no one wants to spend to get them going. It’s easier to work with businesses that already exporting. They know what questions to ask. They know how to better tell you what they need.
But those up-to-speed exporters had to start somewhere… and they all started as newbies. Is it time to start actively finding and growing more newbies?
IF you agree that it’s time. And you recognize the importance of exporting to small-to-medium sized enterprises, and to our economy, then read on.
Exporting from a newbie point of view is pretty daunting. We, as business advisors, consultants, and government representatives, often come across newbie exporters by accident, or they accidentally stumble on to our resources. We know there are more out there, but why are they not coming to us? Maybe we should ask ourselves if we are doing all that we can do to make it easy for newbies to get the assistance and support they need to start exporting or are we just contributing to the “Export Hot Potato Game”.
Fair enough. So how do businesses that are exploring the opportunities for exporting learn about our services? I can think of five ways they can get started. You can probably think of more. Four out of five start with an online search. The fifth is through referrals.
1. U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) and
2. State International Trade Agencies
The USEACs and State International Trade Agencies often work hand-in-hand and are an amazing resource for all exporters…except newbies. They are often the first contact in the Export Hot Potato Game. Unfortunately, USEACs are spread thin and can’t spend time on a business that won’t add to their bottom line for a long time. According to a reliable source, they are told to send all newbies to educational video links (THIS DOESN'T WORK) and so the Export Hot Potato Game begins.
3. SBDC-Small Business Development Centers
The SBDCs are a mixed bag. There are specific international trade centers in California (CITD), Florida, Illinois, Texas, and more that operate under the SBDC flag. At these locations you’ll find more experience folks that understand the ins and outs of international trade. But, if you are in another state, help might be more hit-and-miss. Beyond the international SBDC centers the level of export competency varies greatly from state to state and city to city. So, a newbie may or may not find the starting point they need at the SBDC.
4. World Trade Centers
The World Trade Centers are also a mixed bag. Many offer trade services but many are also just real estate. There are good WTCs and then in some states there are none.
5. Bankers and Accountants
We see bankers and accountants as the wise ones in our financial lives but they are human. If they don’t know the scope of the answer, guess what they do…they pass the newbie on to someone else. You got it…the Export Hot Potato Game continues!
So, the question is, Where do newbies turn to get the help they need to start exporting and avoid the Export Hot Potato Game?
As many of you may know, Betty Sue and The Riddle of the Exporter™ is edutainment. Serious export knowledge wrapped in humor, interaction and adult learning techniques. It works!
How do we know this? Because glowing testimonials are the norm. Betty Sue is funny, but her biggest contribution is that she lets newbies know that if BettySue from Small Town, USA can export, anyone can export! People walk out of boring export seminars thinking that a grasp of exporting is beyond them. People walk out of The Riddle of the Exporter™ saying “I can do this. I’ve got the key concepts, know the key questions to ask and know where to go for the next step.” They walk out thinking that if an export opportunity presents itself….well they just might take it.
Let’s talk. What’s your answer to end the Export Hot Potato Game?
The Riddle of the Exporter™
Export Training For Entrepreneurs By An Entrepreneur.