When it's export or die as a business...it's already too late

Ed Marsh | Mar 7, 2014

Seize the opportunity or grasp at survival?

reaching for global sales as business fails is too lateYou read here often about the enormous opportunities which a strategically planned and properly executed global business development program unlocks.

And other frequent topics include patience and appropriate expectations in implementing a global business development initiative.  It takes time and resources - even if you pursue optimal markets for your product and don't blithely chase the BRICs.

If you want to minimize the runway and maximize the value, you need to plan and implement from a position of strength - in other words while your domestic business is vibrant.

Don't wait until you're drowning, grasping at straws and hoping for a miracle!

Don't follow the military strategists at defense contractors

Want to dive in deeper, perhaps into a case study of how not to go about it?  Check out the position in which the planners, strategists and tacticians of the nation's defense contractors find themselves.  Apparently they so embraced the military industrial complex model that they assume wars would continue unabated.

Well, alert the media!  There's going to be a reduction in defense spending.  Regardless of where you stand on the topic politically, this was completely predictable.  Nobody should be surprised.

And yet....in story after story large and SMB defense contractors are lamenting the situation with surprise.

Turning the aircraft carrier on a dime

A year or more ago a few major global defense contractors began to speak publically about their strategic posturing in preparation for a planned drawdown.  But many continued merrily on their way.

Sequestration created cash flow challenges for many small companies, but contracts were in place and revenue was expected to be consistent for the foreseeable future.  

But then, of course, the reality of reduced budgets began to sink in.  

So what options do they have?  Apply their technology to commercial applications and sell it globally on a B2B basis, and/or take their defense technology and market it to foreign governments.  Both options are subject to licensing restrictions in many cases, but also generally feasible.

The problem is doing this quickly, in parallel with running the business as it has traditionally operated.  It's a major management, financial and operational trick to bring the vessel about.
b2b business development and export sales for security and defense contractors

If you're in this jam...

If you're a defense contractor that's stuck in this position, the good news is that we have a niche practice which works with security and defense contractors (a particular subset of our consulting for B2B manufacturers) to help them develop effective B2B sales & marketing, as well as help them select and grow targeted global markets.  We do this in series or in parallel as appropriate.

If you're not there yet....

Then now's the time to build on your current business strength and diversify into appropriate global markets.  B2B manufacturers of products from simple to complex are selling profitably around the globe.  They typically pay lower taxes on the profits, diversify country, political and currency risk (yes, you have all those even selling domestically!) and vastly expand their market opportunities.

Sometimes they even learn lessons in overseas markets that make them sharper at home.

Bottom line?  If you're a B2B manufacturer and you're not yet selling globally, start while business is strong.  Don't wait until your back's against the wall as it is for many defense contractors now - but leverage the appealing markets proactively which they are only now recognizing.

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