The United States is a huge market — and offers domestic SMEs a familiar and comfortable sales destination.
But big as it is, it only represents a third of manufactured goods consumption on the planet.
That’s a problem for SMEs, especially since only 46 percent have a global strategy.
SMEs can successfully go global, by focusing on three key opportunities:
Sales: There are markets for your products outside the United States, and you don’t need to move there to tap them. Find a trusted distributor or partner with local experience, and craft a deal that gets your goods into foreign markets while protecting your intellectual property and brand.
Production: It may seem overwhelming, but the best global option for your company may be an operation abroad. Where are your biggest customers located around the world — or planning to expand? Would they like to see your facility next door? Can they help you set up shop?
Procurement: Most SMEs buy goods and services in the United States that could be sourced abroad. You won’t want to procure everything (especially critical components) overseas, but you should understand your options. Which non-core components, materials, or services could be sourced more cost-effectively abroad?
The key is getting started: Identify the global opportunities that best suit your company and products, and then rigorously assess the reality and profitability of these options, perhaps with help of organizations such as MAGNET, the U.S. Export Assistance Center, or the Manufacturers Compliance Institute-Global.
Article submitted by Bank of America For mid-market companies, business success and responsible growth aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, prioritizing responsible growth is becoming increasingly important, and successful companies are making sustainability central to their growth strategies. Beyond good corporate citizenship, they are recognizing the intrinsic link between the strength of their business and that of the communities and economies in which they operate. Leading your growth with those goals in mind builds resilience and better solutions for the future. Consider the following: Responsible growth companies perform better. Companies that consider the impact of risks and opportunities on the environment, local communities and society may produce better financial results than those that don’t. Additionally, 90% of companies believe a sustainability plan is important for remaining competitive. Responsible growth companies attract investment. A 2016 study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group surveyed 3,000 executives and managers from more than 100 countries. Findings revealed that 75% of senior executives in investment firms agree that a company’s sustainability performance is materially important to their investment decisions, and nearly half would not invest in a company with a poor sustainability record. Ninety percent of executives see sustainability as important, but only
HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need
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