TRANSFORMATION: March 2013 – International trade

Tapping the global market

Many Missouri businesses think they are too small to compete.

large ship with containersAccording to the SBA, 97 percent of all U.S. exporters are small businesses, and 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. This represents an enormous opportunity for small firms.

But knowing where to start can be tough.

According to a recent SBA survey, 40 percent of businesses surveyed expressed concern about entering new overseas markets because they didn’t know how to begin.

That’s where the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers’ International Trade Center can help. Headed by Larry Dill of the St. Louis Regional SBTDC, the Center can help Missouri businesses in four broad areas:

  • International market research
  • Management capacity and planning
  • Supply chain and logistical support
  • Trade finance

“Our mission is quite simply to help Missouri businesses export their products to other parts of the world,” says Dill. “And we have the best partnership in the country to do so.”

The International Trade Center strongly believes in collaborating with private and public partners to create or secure export plans, networking opportunities, vital contacts, finance, logistics and more. The staff works closely with the U.S. Department of Commerce, SBA export programs, Missouri Department of Economic Development Office of International Trade and Investment, Missouri Department of Agriculture, the World Trade Centers in Kansas City and St. Louis and other entities.

brightly colored international flags against the blue sky“We all work together,” Dill says. “We refer clients to each other. There’s no competition. We’re united toward one goal — to help small businesses in Missouri grow internationally. We collaborate more than anyone else in the country.”

Exporting is more important now than ever before. Not only does it result in increased sales and broader markets, exporting offers enhanced opportunities for employee advancement, a faster business growth rate and an 8.5 percent lower likelihood of going out of business than a solely domestic market-oriented company.

Here are the stories of three fascinating companies the MO SBTDC has helped grow into exporting.

Two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power resides outside the U.S. Quite simply, the old rules of doing business only in America no longer apply. Companies that truly want to grow can’t afford to ignore the export market. The MO SBTDC international trade specialists help Missouri firms seize global opportunities.

Download the March 2013 issue of TRANSFORMATION in PDF, formatted for printing.

TRANSFORMATION is published by the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers, with assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, University of Missouri Extension, Missouri Southern State University and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Questions and comments may be directed to Mary Paulsell, Director of Communications, MO SBTDC, at 573-882-1353 or