Where oh where are the growth opportunities for manufacturers today?

Ed Marsh | Jun 11, 2014

Are you looking in the right places?

“With budgets tightening, the (company) is looking to grow its international sales...the CEO told reporters in a speech Monday. 'Our international expansion will fuel our company’s sustainable growth'" Washington Post

and
"US sales slipped again as it faced 'ongoing broad-based challenges in May (while) an increase in global sales in its Asia, Middle East and Africa region was driven by strength in China and other Asian markets"
Frustrated with slow domestic sales many companies are finding growth in global markets.  But others, overwhelmed with routine business hassles or intimidated by common myths around risks of exporting, simply "hunker down."

Small is not a disqualifier

global sales offer a real opportunity for B2B sales growth even as markets slowOne of the common assumptions among SMBs is that they lack scale for global sales.

Try telling that to Wheeling, WV's Wheeling Truck Center.  One of this years "Presidential 'E' Award" winners for global sales growth, Wheeling Truck Centers is a family owned company founded in 1933 and now run by two grandsons of the founder.  They sell new and used truck parts for Volvo trucks. 

In 2010 they began to explore international sales growth....and then got to work.  And in three years have reaped enormous benefits including:
  • sales to 94 different markets (of approximately 160 in the world)
  • USD $2MM in sales growth
  • 3 new FTEs
  • diversification against cycles in any one market
As US Commerce Secretary Pritzker commented when presenting the award “By selling Made-in-America goods and services internationally, U.S. business can grow faster, hire more employees, pay higher wages, and help spread American ideas, innovation and values”

Determination and Creativity

It's not magical.  First there's a decision to grow globally.  Then there's an ongoing effort which is sensibly directed through strategic focus (not just helter skelter 'international' activities.) But it doesn't happen by accident.

Companies that succeed embrace the challenge.  While they recognize that they will face new and different hurdles they simultaneously acknowledge that different doesn't mean riskier.  It simply means.....different.

And most companies that succeed in global sales growth (without investing in an expensive and extensive corporate footprint on the ground in many markets) share a common tactic.  They leverage digital tools.

Inbound marketing provides a remarkable platform to help buyers from around the world find your products.  But it's about more than just having a website.  Is your digital marketing helping qualified international buyers find you?  Is it even optimized to drive domestic growth?

This tool is an amazing equalizer for companies that use it.

But in the meantime, wondering if it's the right time to explore exporting for your business?  Check out our free eBook.

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