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Sunday, 06 December 2015 23:43

Sponsored Content: Planning for Success in the Global Market Place

Written by  VAGTC
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There are 195 countries in the world today, according to the U.S. Department of State. Each of these countries comes with its own mixture of metropolitan and rural areas, not to mention different standards of living, levels of purchasing power and potential markets. With approximately 7.3 billion people, the world is full of opportunities for business looking to grow and thrive on a global scale.

But with such a vast number of options, many businesses don’t know where to start. These companies may not realize that the resources for helping them grow are readily available and affordable.


Let’s Get Started

With so many countries and potential markets, finding the right fit for your business may seem like finding a needle in a haystack. A good starting point is to review your company’s website analytics. This data helps you to get a feel for where in the world your products are being searched for and viewed. You may find that you have a large amount of web traffic from Mexico; this information can help you target various markets in that country for further research.

Not sure how to properly use website analytics? While there are numerous and affordable resources available to help businesses do this, a great local option is through the Michigan Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) which can provide technological support and assistance to Michigan companies.


A Deeper Dive

After reviewing website analytics and discovering a potential market, the next step is to do further research. A detailed report of how your product can potentially fit into specific market segments, how your competitors are faring in those markets, and further opportunities for your product can help lead your company to make the best decision when entering new global markets.

Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business offers a unique resource to the Michigan business community through the Van Andel Global Trade Center (VAGTC). VAGTC assists local companies with all aspects of their international business growth. For example, VAGTC offers qualifying businesses in-depth, free international market research to help those businesses make better international growth decisions. The research reports complied by VAGTC are tailored to individual business needs, from countries of focus to sectors of interest taking into account specified products or services.


Market Entry

After the research has been done, it is always a good idea to visit the market in which you plan to sell your products. Face-to-face meetings with potential distributors, manufacturers, or buyers will help your company to better understand the market you are planning to enter and to build the connections you will need to succeed in the long run. Even in the digital age, relationships between contracting parties still matter.

Many State and Federal resources are available to businesses wishing to expand. The U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key or the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s trade missions are cost-effective options that allow businesses to travel and do business abroad. The Michigan Department of Rural Development has programs in place for Michigan’s agriculture industry that help demystify the complex export regulations in that sector.


Customs Compliance

Once you have your business foundation in place, it’s time to ship your goods! GVSU’s Van Andel Global Trade Center can help export-ready businesses in a variety of ways, whether it is through publicly offered trainings, customized in-house trainings, or VAGTC’s How-To Guidebook publications. VAGTC’s trainings and print materials cover a range of topics, including export controls and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the basics of exporting and importing, and harmonized tariff classification, as well as culture-specific seminars and the basics of free trade agreements.

Michigan has an abundance of resources to help businesses expand globally. The organizations mentioned in this article provide just a few of the low-cost or free services available. In addition to other State and Federal options, private-sector firms can also provide assistance to your company.


Moving Forward

Whether you are just getting started or simply interested in a new market, check out all of the resources available to help Michigan businesses grow! Any of the resources mentioned above can get you going in the right direction to begin exporting your products and services to the global marketplace.

Have questions about getting started in a foreign market? Call Van Andel Global Trade Center at 616-331-6811 to speak to a representative, or email [email protected]

Want more information on a specific topic? Subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates about future trainings.

Read 2184 times Last modified on Thursday, 23 March 2017 13:32

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