To continue helping small businesses expand into international markets, Central Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) now has an in-house export certified business coach: Teresa Marti. Learn about what it means to be export certified and how ISBDC can help companies looking to begin exporting in this interview with Marti.
What does it mean to be export certified?
It means I took a competency exam (basic and intermediate level) created for SBA or TPCC affiliated small business counselors with the purpose to prepare counselors in helping small businesses embrace opportunities for growth through exports.
This certification was created as a result of a partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, and the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) and the National Export Initiative. The initiative was created to increase the foreign market engagement of US small businesses and support millions of jobs.
The Introductory Level focuses on how partner business counselors can be an essential part of the national exporter referral process. The Intermediate Level provides links and tools so business counselors can help their clients develop actionable and effective export business plans.
Why should companies export?
Companies should export to increase sales and become more resistant to fluctuations in the economy. It is a big market out there! 96 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the U.S and 75 percent of the world’s purchasing power is outside of the United States. Companies that export can face domestic economic downturns better and they are more profitable than those that don’t export.
What should companies do if they are looking to export?
The first thing is to figure out if their service or product can be exported. They need to think if their product or service can be shipped, reproduced, or transferred outside of the US. If the answer is yes, then they need to gather information about the market, identify the correct segments, and assess the potential. Although small businesses can find information through different sources such as export.gov, we can also assist them in gathering that information. After they have that information, the small business counselors can guide them through a business plan to make export a reality.
How does the ISBDC provide resources for exporters?
Through our one on one coaching, we can guide the client to resources that can lead to a feasibility analysis and a business plan. Furthermore, Andrew Reinke, a 25 year veteran of export development, has a contract with the ISBDC to provide additional export expertise.