Success in business is no accident.
Ok, so everyone knows someone who launched a business on a whim; has flown it by the seat of his pants; and – far from going down in flames – has been wildly successful. Yes, it happens. But it’s not the norm.
What do Westinghouse, Walgreens, Wendy’s, Forbes and FedEx have in common? Besides the letters W and F, that is.
Give up? Or maybe the better word here is “surrender.” (Pssst. That’s a clue.)
Let’s say you’re a manufacturer in Owatonna and one day you get an inquiry from a potential customer in Los Angeles or Chicago or Atlanta. Do you respond? Of course you do. When business comes knocking, you answer the door. That’s a no-brainer.
But what if the inquiry comes from Toronto … or Hamburg … or Sao Paulo? What then?
Ask owners of small and midsized companies what scares them most about expanding their sales or business operations into foreign countries, and the answer is predictable.
“Risk,” says Ed Dieter, deputy director of the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO), the state’s official export promotion agency, ticking off the top reason small companies with great potential shy away from exporting. “They worry they won’t get paid, that it’s too easy to lose their shirts. They’ll say, ’Look, I get stiffed often enough at home. Why would I take that chance overseas, where there’s nothing I can do about it?’”