• Ed Christopher

Never too small to export: how to successfully penetrate foreign markets

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

We’ve stated it here before: The majority of the world’s machine tool market lies outside of the United States. Consumption statistics put that number in excess of 80 percent, leaving less than 20 percent here at home. If you are not exporting or planning to export, you are missing a great opportunity for growth.

The benefits of exporting are numerous. Exporting can increase your revenue and help you stabilize business cycles and fluctuations. It can help insulate you from the risks associated with downturns in the U.S. market by diversifying revenue streams. It can increase your efficiency by utilizing excess production capacity. Exporting can also extend the sales potential of certain product lines that may be considered outdated for the U.S. market. Competing on a global scale can not only make your company more profitable, it can also help you learn how to compete more successfully here in the domestic market. The exposure can raise your game and enhance your company’s skills.

Many small-to-medium-sized businesses have the perception that they are too small to export. They do not have the resources or expertise they feel is required. It sounds too complicated and burdensome. They don’t have experience with international shipments, payments, foreign legal norms, and languages. They don’t know how to find foreign customers or distributors. Or they feel they simply don’t have the time to explore the processes and potentials.

Whether you are already exporting or only considering it, AMT is well positioned to help you overcome these challenges. We do this with an array of unique products and services. A few notable ones include: International Tech Centers, Market Penetration Sessions and Business Review Days, international trade missions, and AMT/USA Pavilions at foreign trade shows.

The AMT International Tech Centers have a strong history of member success stories. Over the last decade, about 250 AMT member companies have utilized our International Tech Centers to develop and grow export sales — the vast majority being small-to-mid-sized enterprises (SMEs). These centers allow our members to have a local presence and support sales in a foreign country at a mere fraction of the cost of “going it alone.”

We have centers in China, India, Mexico, Brazil, and an office in Eastern Europe. By utilizing these centers, members can cost-effectively hire local employees, offer in-country field service to customers, and receive in-depth, hands-on business development support based on local market intelligence and experience. Members can also demo their products to potential foreign customers, utilize AMT warehousing services to simplify logistics, have physical office space, and conduct training and technical seminars to foreign customers. All the tech center services are designed to assist members in developing their local presence and long-term strategies and then executing to ensure sustainable foreign growth and success.

Many government and private research studies have shown that exporting companies grow faster and are more likely to succeed than companies that only sell domestically. They provide better jobs and greater advancement opportunities for their employees. They consistently see faster annual growth and are less likely to go out of business, regardless of the size of the company and the amount of their exports. From a marketing standpoint, being an exporter will raise a company’s profile and credibility.

If you would like to learn more about our International Tech Centers and other export services, send me an email. You have nothing to lose by reaching out.