Exportation taught as the key to success

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

Thisprogram is designed to inform businessmen about the exportation process, how totarget markets and to increase their sales.

Chairmanof the Arkansas District Export Council, Graham Catlett, says exportation is aforeseeable option for companies. "Many people think it is difficult andimpossible even to export," Catlett said. "And that's just amisconception. The purpose of our export university is to show businesses thatthey can export and increase their sales significantly by using the techniquesthat we'll teach during these meetings."

Catlettsays there are a few things businessmen need to know when they began pursuingexportation.

"Theyneed to know how to select partners," Catlett said. "How to selectmarkets, also how to select develop an overall plan about where to export andhow to export."

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

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

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

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

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

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

Theseevents are designed for all levels of staff. The next of these meetings willtake place on February the 1st at the Little Rock Reynolds Business Center atthe University of Arkansas. You can learn more about the Arkansas DistrictExport Council, log onto their website.

Foradditional information about the Arkansas Export Assistance Center, click here.

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