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Illinois SBDC International Trade Center
Illinois SBDC International Trade Center
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Helping Illinois Businesses Succeed in the Global Marketplace

International Trade Center


How do I determine if my company is "export-ready"?

Exporting has become a lucrative activity for many U.S. companies, but all of them began by making the critical decisions necessary to expand their market outside the USA.

Examine your resources and capabilities

Formulating a solid export strategy requires a critical examination of the capabilities and resources of one's company.

The following list highlights characteristics common to successful exporters. These will serve as guidelines to help you make those fundamental decisions, or if you are already exporting, to help you identify additional information so you may export more effectively.

  • My company has a product which has been successfully sold in the domestic market.

  • My company has or is preparing an international marketing plan with defined goals and strategies.

  • My company has sufficient production capacity that can be committed to the export market.

  • My company has the financial resources to actively support the marketing of our products in the targeted overseas markets.

  • My company is committed to developing export markets and is also willing and able to dedicate staff, time and resources to the process.

  • My company is committed to providing the same level of service given to our domestic customers.

  • My company has adequate knowledge in modifying product packaging and ingredients to meet foreign import regulations, food safety standards and cultural preferences.

  • My company has adequate knowledge in shipping its product overseas, such as identifying and selecting international freight forwarders, temperature management and freight costing.

  • My company has adequate knowledge of export payment mechanisms, such as developing and negotiating letters of credit.

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