Bernadette Wiltz, SUSTA
Mapping your Export Journey
There is an old saying we’re all familiar with, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step.” True though that may be, that journey is likely to be more successful if it starts with a road map.
Exporting your products over thousands of miles across the globe needs a road map too – a solid export plan. We here at SUSTA are able to help with yours, especially on three key components to any successful international sales blueprint: finding the right market, developing a sales plan, and managing your international book of business.
A successful plan starts with identifying a target market. SUSTA has a library of resources to help you choose the right market. Through your MySUSTA account, find USDA’s market research reports and access to recorded webinars and other videos from our team of in-country market consultants and other specialists. In 2021, SUSTA will add to its cache of resources for our new exporters who are learning how to put together their export roadmap for the first time.
Then there’s your sales strategy. How will you meet new buyers? Through the Global Events program, SUSTA organizes inbound trade missions where foreign buyers come to your state and outbound missions where you can experience a market first-hand. During the COVID pandemic, we are conducting virtual trade missions. In a “normal” year, there are also opportunities to exhibit at trade shows through SUSTA’s Global Events program. SUSTA also gathers trade leads from USDA Agricultural Trade Offices located overseas and share them with our companies.
Through the end of the year, we’re conducting Global Events Consultations. If you want to learn more about the aforementioned opportunities, SUSTA's Global Events Coordinators are happy to answer any questions you may have! Go to the SUSTA website to schedule a consultation.
Or you chart your own course for marketing and promotion with the financial support of the 50% CostShare program. Your expenses for advertising (including digital ads), exhibiting at trade shows (including virtual trade shows), new packaging and point of sale materials can all be eligible for a 50 percent match through CostShare. It is like doubling your marketing budget! For more information, check out the 2021 CostShare manual on-line; it will tell you what you need to know about the program and if you qualify.
Of course, it’s critically important to plan how you will manage your new business. What do you need to know to set your pricing? How does the distribution chain in your new market work? What are the labeling requirements? SUSTA’s team of in-country consultants have answers to these frequently asked questions and we can share that information with you. Just ask!
When you are putting together your export business plan, definitely plan on SUSTA’s resources to help you. We’re here to help you map out your journey to success in the global market.