Where in the World Are My Customers?
Meet Nyamusi Igambi, director of the U.S. Commercial Service office in Kansas City, MO. Prior to her recent promotion, Nya served the Houston area export community for 14 years as a senior international trade specialist. Below, she shares her thoughts on how to begin exporting.
Ninety-five percent of the world's consumers live outside the United States.
You have a great product and want to sell it to the rest of the world, but finding the right markets for your product or service can be an intimidating process. Determining the potential for your product or service in a market (as well as the requirements to get products out of the U.S. and into the market), understanding a country’s business, economic, and political climate, and probing the viability of prospective partners all take considerable time and resources.
So where do you start?
A great place to start is www.export.gov, the U.S. government’s export portal. The Market Research Library contains more than 100,000 country and industry-specific market research reports written by the U.S. Commercial Service in-country experts: industry overviews, best markets, Country Commercial Guides, and more. If you can't find what you need, contact the local U.S. Commercial Service office in a city near you. You can find a list of C.S. offices via the www.export.gov portal. In addition, you can link to the agricultural goods export market research reports focusing on agricultural commodities from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
But what if you are just starting out in exporting and need some help identifying your first market or if exporting is even right for you? Your local Small Business Development Center can assist with market research to make that first sale seem less daunting.
Still can’t find what you are looking for? Customized market research reports (for a fee) are available from the U.S. Commercial Service. In addition, the State of Kansas and State of Missouri have several international trade offices, and the World Trade Center of Kansas City is a good resource for additional market research data.