Big companies are not the only ones that can benefit from taking their products to foreign markets. Small and medium size companies can also benefit from selling outside of the United States. In fact, the most common reasons for deciding when it is a good time to look for foreign markets to sell your products or services are: 1) when domestic markets are either getting saturated with your products or similar ones; 2) when you are facing an extremely competitive local environment; or 3) when you are facing a declining product life cycle locally.
However, keep in mind that while the growth opportunities that can be accrued by taking your products to markets outside of the United States are considerable, so are the challenges. Cultural and language issues, government regulations, local competition, travel related costs, duties, freight, exchange rates, package/language requirements, and more are just but a few of the hurdles you can expect when trying to sell your products overseas.
The following five steps should help you determine how to move forward and make you international sales efforts a rewarding and profitable experience.