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Get Your Own Personal Trade Consultant

OK, so day-to-day demands don't leave you enough time to step back and analyze business-building opportunities such as exporting. What if someone could work on that — on your behalf — for free? Does your product have an audience in other countries? How do you find those potential buyers, market to them and deliver your goods?

That's exactly what the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) does every day. As the trade promotion division of the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, it offers small to medium-size businesses the resources, advice and assistance to export to global markets. Most services are provided at no cost or for a nominal fee.

An example

William Haynes started Sabai Technology in 2010, manufacturing specialized wireless routers — especially virtual personal network routers. He knew there was great opportunity for his routers internationally: They were heavily utilized during the Arab Spring of 2011, enabling individuals in Egypt to read, send and receive information that would otherwise have been blocked by government filters. At that point, Haynes used a painful, inefficient, one-by-one shipment scenario and only 5 percent of the company's shipments were international.

Then Haynes began working with FedEx to increase Sabai's export volume and learned from his FedEx sales rep about the collaborative alliance between FedEx and USCS.

"When USCS came to see me, I didn't know what I didn't know," said Haynes. "It was incredibly eye-opening because they revealed a world I wasn't even aware of. Once the USCS rep started talking about resources, information and support they had available, we started seeing the possibilities."

Your personal trade consultant

Do you currently trade internationally? Are you considering the possibility?

Whether you're well-versed in trading internationally or you're a novice, you can quickly ramp up export knowledge by tapping into the extensive advice and support available from USCS. It doesn't matter what industry you're in, either. Key resources can help you strategize goals and discover pertinent information for:

  • Navigating country-specific export requirements: Learn about issues that can make the difference between a successful shipment and one that's delayed or denied. You'll find info on trade-related formalities, customs considerations, tariff codes, and more.
  • Finding buyers: Access research results and analyses of foreign markets to help understand your audience and determine how best to reach them.
  • Financial assistance: Discover options for loans, grants and investments to help your business expand internationally.

Valuable USCS services and programs offer abundant opportunities for education on all levels. You can also connect with prospective trade partners both here and abroad. Ask about these specific programs as starters:

  • Global Target Program. Get all the crucial details through this program that provides the basic knowledge, skills and tools to trade internationally with confidence.
  • Gold Key Matching Service. Work through the USCS to identify potential overseas markets and prospective trade partners that align with your specific products or services.
  • Trade Missions. Learn firsthand about overseas markets by visiting foreign countries; attending market briefings; and meeting face-to-face with qualified potential buyers, agents, distributors and other business partners.

Successful results

See how Haynes and Sabai Technology implemented the advice they received from the USCS and FedEx and how their expansion into exporting paid off. Read Export Growth at the Speed of Light.

Learn how you can apply similar techniques to your own business for export growth at the FedEx International Shipping site.

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