Exportation taught as the key to success - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Exportation taught as the key to success

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas State University's Small Business and Technology Development Center is teaming up with the Arkansas District Export Council and the Arkansas Export Assistance Center to launch "Export University".

This program is designed to inform businessmen about the exportation process, how to target markets and to increase their sales.

Chairman of the Arkansas District Export Council, Graham Catlett, says exportation is a foreseeable option for companies. "Many people think it is difficult and impossible even to export," Catlett said. "And that's just a misconception. The purpose of our export university is to show businesses that they can export and increase their sales significantly by using the techniques that we'll teach during these meetings."

Catlett says there are a few things businessmen need to know when they began pursuing exportation.

"They need to know how to select partners," Catlett said. "How to select markets, also how to select develop an overall plan about where to export and how to export."

And the answer to all these questions is the purpose of these meetings. These experts are there to provide audience members with information and techniques.

Director of the International Business Resource Center, Kelly Fish, says with the right tools exportation can be a profitable margin for businesses. "We're discussing how to locate new markets for your product," Fish said. "If you're a firm that's interested in exporting and learning how to export, the first step is to find a market. And that can be a daunting task given that there are well over two hundred countries in the world. How do you weigh into that and figure out where your product will fit best."

Fish says they also went over how to find business partners in other countries that can help with the exportation process when one gets their products to their country's border. Also discussed was what services the U.S. Commercial Service offers that is a tremendous asset to businessmen.

When choosing a market, Fish says it's all about the research. "You have to do a little bit of homework," Fish said. "A lot of it is secondary research. You know, screening out markets that don't meet certain criteria in your screening process. Eventually, you'll get it to 3 to 5 markets. Then we suggest you go to the U.S. Commercial Service to do some primary research and use some of their contacts in those countries and learn about the competitors in that market and what distribution opportunities are there."

Fish says exportation is something all businesses should check out. "What I've learned and what I've seen in some of the businesses around here," Fish said. "It's a great way to diversify your cash flow for your organization. For instance, there was a construction firm that sold construction equipment and when the construction bust hit a few years back, what was keeping them in good shape was there international sales that didn't suffer as much as the U.S. sales."

"It works," Catlett said. "It is a way to increase your sales and the concepts are not so difficult that everybody shouldn't look into it."

These events are designed for all levels of staff. The next of these meetings will take place on February the 1st at the Little Rock Reynolds Business Center at the University of Arkansas. You can learn more about the Arkansas District Export Council, log onto their website.

For additional information about the Arkansas Export Assistance Center, click here.

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