Begin Exporting

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Assessing Potential

Your decision to begin exporting may not be based on practical reasoning. Or perhaps, like many businesses, you have been receiving a number of international inquiries and some of them seem worthwhile.   Or you may currently be exporting to only one market and want to expand to others. In this section you will information that will help you assess the potential of various markets.

Market Research

Identifying the best markets with the best sales prospects is tantamount when starting or expanding your exports.  In today’s competitive business environment, you cannot afford to experiment, so it is critical to identify international markets which offer the greatest potential for the sale of your goods.

When trying to determine the proper road ahead, the first step is to gather as much information as possible on your target market. With so much information on the internet, it has become increasingly easier to obtain relevant research and general information on just about every topic. Missouri’s global office network helps to provide insight on numerous Market Profiles. These Market Profiles are a great place to start for preliminary data and key information on markets where the state of Missouri has a Representative Office.

  • Market Profiles
  • Missouri’s Global Office Network
  • Available Market Reports

Market Profiles

Outreach Events

The state of Missouri, along with its statewide export and trade promotion partners, provides numerous opportunities for you to attend export seminars, workshops and events. These events provide vital information and insight on key topics and markets. Many of these events take the form of short, informative seminars, delivering maximum knowledge and insight in a concise format. You can find these types of events and more at our Trade Events section.

Export Readiness

Research may be essential to exporting but realistically assessing export readiness is imperative. Do you have the appropriate resources, knowledge, skills and financial resources to export?

There are several ways to assess your export potential. You can take the following 10 question survey, take more extensive evaluations like the one available at https://new.export.gov/export-readiness-assessment/login or have one of our Trade Managers further assess your current capabilities. If you answer no to any of the following questions, you may not be adequately prepared to export.

Export Planning

As with any aspect of your business, planning is a must. Planning helps create your export road map and will be the foundation to your success when entering a new market for the first time or expanding upon your current trade activity.

Export Training

Every part of your business requires expertise and insight and international trade is no different. Export Missouri offers classroom and specialized training, as well as referrals to the US DOC BIS online training sessions. Whether it’s Exporting 101 or Exporting 201, the essential elements of exporting can often seem complex. Missouri’s statewide partner network helps bring training to all corners of the state.

Distribution Network

An effective distribution network may be complex, extensive and expensive when trying to get products into the hands of your customers quickly and efficiently. A fast and reliable distribution network is vital to a successful export business because customers must be able to get products and services when they want them. Regional and local distributors and agents ultimately become the face of your business in a foreign market, adding much needed value to your export sales. The Missouri International Trade & Investment Office can help you identify a pre-screened listing of potential distribution partners in markets where the state has international offices.

Developing the Contacts

Building a strong and extensive network of contacts and prospective clients is critical to any businesses success. In this section, the Missouri International Trade & Investment Office Trade Managers and International Offices work hand in hand to help you make the contacts.

Missouri’s International Offices have the local expertise and personal connections to help as you evaluate and ultimately break into these markets.

Trade Shows and Missions

Our office can help you achieve your maximum export potential by providing details on upcoming trade shows, logistical or planning support, and information on booth space at Missouri attended trade shows. Our Trade Managers and International Offices can help you fully prepare and make certain you get the best bang for your bucks. Our staff will schedule meetings, provide marketing support and help coordinate logistics, all to ensure success abroad.

Market Support

Whether in Missouri or in the 12 global markets where the state has offices, our Trade Managers are ready to offer counseling and assistance with regard to all aspects of doing business in a new market. Our Trade Managers offer regional expertise, provide assistance with marketing, strategic placement and logistical issues. One-on-one consultations serve as pre-cursors to all services.

Making the Sale

Once you've assessed your export readiness, conducted the market research that has identified the international markets with the best prospects for your products, completed necessary export training, and built a network of local contacts, then--it’s time to make the sale!

Export Finance

Money makes the world go round and is often necessary to grow your business around the world. The Missouri International Trade & Investment Office is a City State Partner of the US EXIM Bank and works closely with local and regional banks that can assist your efforts. Our Export Finance Officer can offer advice on important aspects of getting paid, financial instruments, currency fluctuations, and can help to make introductions to regional partners, including the US Small Business Administration.

Get Your Goods on the Map

Shipping your products or providing your services can be a complex process domestically, let alone, internationally. Incorrect documentation can create delays and business lost. Our Trade Managers and statewide trade promotion and resource partners are to provide assistance on helping you get your goods on the map. 

Expanding your Exports

Your export plan has been developed, tried, tested and updated annually. You have finally made some headway with regard to executing your strategy and your export business is finally growing. Next steps include market expansion, traveling abroad and dealing with growing pains. Our Trade Managers can assist you with the resources necessary to expand your global footprint!