Using local resources to grow international sales

Manufacturing is alive and well in Western New York. The local economy has a robust number of manufacturing companies in various industries with tremendous potential.

Regardless of the product being made, local manufacturers rely on sales to drive growth. However, if they only rely on sales within the U.S., then they miss out on substantial growth opportunities.

Larger manufacturing companies know this and are actively involved in international trade, including exporting, importing and sometimes acquiring foreign companies in their target markets.

Typically, the smaller manufacturers are the ones that hesitate when it comes to international trade because of their lack of experience in that realm.

WTC BN 2Admittedly, exporting and importing can be complicated.

A company needs to commit the time, financial resources and staff to ensure that they are:

  • complying with both U.S. and foreign standards and regulations
  • efficiently managing their supply chain operations
  • conducting market research to better understand which foreign countries represent a solid market for their goods/services
  • making sure they will get paid
  • attempting to understand and adapt to foreign business and cultural practices

Even if a company doesn’t currently excel at the functions above, that should not prohibit them from continuing to grow. With time and further knowledge, these functions can be improved upon.

Furthermore, the solution for small businesses is to make use of the numerous professional resources that exist here in Western NY.

Trade education seminars, in-house consulting services and networking with executives from larger companies can all help smaller manufacturers create and implement a successful international trade strategy.

WTC Erin Cole headshot
Erin Cole

Western New York is home to many successful companies, business executives and entrepreneurs and there are typically just one or two degrees of separation among them.

One thing small and large manufacturers alike can pride themselves on is their collective willingness to share experiences and expertise with others, resulting in a win-win situation for us all.

About the author: Erin Cole, Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), is the President and CEO of World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, a Partnership member of seven years. Cole has significant experience in economic development and international trade which includes export/import, global market research, new market entry, export licensing and new business development.

Want to learn more about logistics and how to get involved in our Manufacturing Council? Contact Nadine Powell.