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| NOVEMBER 30, 1999 |
Join the Globetrotters
More small businesses are hustling to export
Small businesses are increasingly looking abroad to diversify, says Joseph Hartnett, director of international services at business consulting firm Grant Thornton. Right now activity is hottest in Europe, says Hartnett, led by small technology consulting firms, software companies, and suppliers to large retailers. Particularly, if the domestic market slows down, overseas markets can help you grow faster.
Consider this: In PricewaterhouseCoopers' most recent quarterly Trendsetter survey of fast-growing small businesses, companies that sell abroad said they expected their revenue growth to hold steady at 26.8% over the next 12 months, while domestic-only businesses projected a five-point decline, to 21.9%.
Of course, going global isn't right for everyone. It's expensive and time-consuming to scout out new turf, make contacts in foreign lands, and keep up with local regulations. Start by checking on the local competition in the market you're considering, recommends Hans Koehler, director of the Wharton Export Network at the Wharton School. To catch the attention of international prospects, try listing your services in a well-known directory, such as the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers (www.thomasregister.com). It's a wide world market out there; something might just click.
By KAREN CHENEY
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