While most small business owners are likely finding themselves with better standings in their local areas as the economy continues to improve, some may be more eager to start moving their goods or services not only out of that relatively small sphere, but out of the country entirely.
The vast majority of all small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. now say that they have what they need to begin or expand their exporting efforts, and half of those which already have such operations under way say that they expect to see a larger amount of business in this area in the next year, according to a recent survey from Bibby Financial Services. In addition, those that say they're a little less enthusiastic about such prospects cited a lack of access to credit from lenders or financial assistance from the federal government, but even those fears seem to be receding.
"It has taken some time for President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI), launched in 2010, to affect the confidence levels of U.S. small business owners," said Leigh Lones, the chief executive officer for Bibby Financial Services Americas, which offers import and export financing. "But they now say they have the right tools and level of support to fulfill the export potential of their business. Continued U.S. economic growth, along with increased demand from overseas firms, will continue to fuel confidence and momentum amongst small- and medium-sized businesses."
Companies based in the U.S. are still more comfortable globally with relation to exporting and importing from developed markets, while companies in other countries may be more focused on developing nations, the report said. Interestingly, through, exports make up a far larger percentage of revenues for American businesses, compared with their counterparts in Germany and the U.K., where these efforts make up just 2 percent of them. Those based in the U.S., however, do say that they have a greater need for knowledge about the terms of credit available to them, as well as trading cycles for exports.
Owners looking to expand may want to examine the prospect of beginning exporting or increasing such efforts as a means of bringing in more revenues. However, they may also want to find ways to reduce costs at the same time, and that could include finding more affordable small business insurance policies, including those for liability insurance. Cutting these obligations may free up money that could be better used elsewhere.