The Survey Says...Export success depends on international experience

Ed Marsh | Aug 13, 2013

THINK to BE to SUCCEED Globally

The British Chambers of Commerce (@britishchambers) recently released the results of a survey on the various correlating factors which they found impact a SMB's export success.  You might call it "Nature vs. Nurture in Global Business."

You'll find full details here.  But in short, it comes down to mindset - a poorly defined but critically important factor that I've long held was the 'secret sauce' to export success.

Some of the key points the survey found include:
  • work experience abroad or participation in an international business group substantially increased success
  • businesspeople who succeed at export business development were more likely to have lived, or be willing to live abroad
  • family ties are a strong influencer of decisions to trade internationally
  • international links in local community also are influential

Presence or absence of attitude?

So what is mindset?  Is it a conscious belief that global business development is feasible and export success is attainable?  Or is it rather simply the absence of self-limiting beliefs that cause one to never take the basic steps required to begin to develop export sales?

I think it's both.  But more importantly I think it's primarily the latter.  In my experience the belief that global sales can be successful is reasonably easy to create through a series of small, attainable wins.  But those small wins are only attainable if simple efforts are undertaken.

The problem that most companies have is that perceptions of high barriers prevent them from ever considering a strategic export program.  (More on the limiting factors that McGladrey called 'transactional details' here.) 

And that's why simple experiences like time spent overseas can make a difference.  If you are accustomed to going to local ATM machines to get cash in different currencies; or to receive your credit card bill with conversions; or know different country codes when they appear in caller ID; or have various visas....then none of it seems so difficult.  It's not substantially different than setting out to find a new domestic distributor in a new target major metro area.

It's your business...are you willing to do what it takes?

The facts are unequivocal.  Domestic growth is likely to be range bound and negligible for the next several years.  Does your business plan call for 0-2% growth?  Is it worth the long hours?  The risk?  The headaches and hassles?

If finding viable, profitable and sustainable growth is important to your business plans, then you've got two available options....because we all know "the same old way" isn't one.

You can market your business effectively, and you can pursue new market opportunities.  So what's your business mindset?  Hunker down and hope??  Or simply to go do what it takes?

business growth, international business development, SMB marketing,

We like working with "doers."  If you want to get it done through better marketing and new markets, let's talk.