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Trade between cultures and countries has existed for millennia. Recent advances in technology now make international trade easier and more accessible, even for small business owners.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the top 10 nations with which America trades (in order of largest import and export dollars to smallest) are:
Managing Trade Challenges
While the Internet has forged new pathways in international trade, challenges for small business owners continue to exist. Fortunately, technology makes some of these easier to manage.
Consider using a service that offers global payment options such as PayPal or the Federation of International Trade Associations Global Payment Services to ensure smooth and timely transactions.
Another big difference between doing business domestically and internationally lies in cultural diversity. Research suggests that some American companies fail because their owners and employees don’t adapt their behaviors to accommodate these distinctions. The following guidelines will help you avoid embarrassing gaffes when conducting international business.
Expanding your business to global markets can be rewarding, profitable and challenging. What’s more, venturing into the international arena can protect you in part against the decline in domestic markets, as well as significantly improve your overall growth potential. Most international business development experts suggest starting the process systematically:
Before shipping, make sure you package and label products in compliance with your target market’s regulations. While the globalization of transportation systems helps, regulations still differ from region to region.