Hoping to export internationally? This panel offers great advice!

At this year’s 2023 National Small Business Exporter Summit, a panel of experts discussed their experiences and shared valuable tips that led to their success during the session “Charting a Course to Export Success.”

John Quayle, Chief of Staff at Four Growers, mentioned that building processes from the ground up as a new start-up company was a challenge. His company upgrades and repairs small robotics components, so he needs to keep current on laws affecting robot batteries and other technology. Shipping by air means he needs to research how temperature, moisture, cabin pressure and other elements will influence his products.  

Understanding the manufacturing products of others is a challenge for Melinda Burn, CEO at Solecta, Inc., since her company manufactures and sells membrane filters for items like vitamins in protein shakes or paint on cars. She needs to comprehend local market drivers and their nuances as well as food regulations in other countries.

Arch Sharma, CEO of Wazoodle Fabrics & AKASTEX, finds challenge in making their manufactured fabrics useful and reusable internationally while still reducing their own carbon footprint. Another challenge is simply finding buyers, but a website designed for overseas audiences led to sales in 11 countries.

Juan José Córdova Benavides, General Manager of Textil del Valle, said his challenge was to focus on the garment market first, but then to adjust his infrastructure and expand.

Advice these experts offered to others hoping to export:

  • Understand the federal laws on health and safety
  • Follow rules on how to label products in various countries
  • Comprehend the preferences of people and how to communicate with them
  • Create clear goals on who you are selling to and why
  • Understand each country’s market drivers and your own value propositions
  • Know regulations on proof points and required documentation
  • Engage with U.S. resources and local organizations that can help you
  • Use your website to answer anticipated product questions
  • Respond to emails and any other communications consistently and promptly
  • Create flexible financing for your customers
  • Take care of your distributors
  • Start small and ask questions

Fortunately, Wisconsin’s SBDC Go Global Initiative is here to assist you with your accidental export. Feel free to reach out to Chris Wojtowicz to assist your business with international trade.