Miami businesses have the advantage of being located in a trade and logistics hub that is also the Gateway to the Americas. Despite these natural business advantages, three out of four of Miami-Dade County’s private-sector workers are engaged in business activity that stops selling goods/services at the shores of the U.S. Most businesses still believe that foreign markets and international sales are not an option for them.
The College of Business’ Florida SBDC at FIU wants to help more Miami-Dade businesses “go global.” This year’s SBDC Global Business workshop, held at FIU Downtown at Brickell, gave 35 local business owners guidance on exploring global sales opportunities and how to expand their current international sales footprint.
Experts shared lessons on federal and state export financing, export credit insurance, international trade assistance services offered by the Florida SBDC at FIU, and how to avoid frauds, scams and issues such as cargo theft.
The recent event is part of an initiative by Florida SBDC at FIU to assist Miami-Dade County businesses in identifying and capitalizing foreign market opportunities. Florida State Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez (District 112) co-sponsored the event.
Growing the local economy through global sales.
A 2013 study by the Miami-Dade Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources revealed that wages for workers in industries selling goods and services outside the local market are significantly higher than those selling locally: $53,332 in average annual wages versus $37,858, according to 2010 data. Increased wages benefit not just the workers and their families; they also drive the local economy through increased sales and tax revenues.
“Because of technology, increasing numbers of businesses are born global – meaning they are doing business internationally from day one,” said Jacqueline Sousa, Regional Director of the Florida SBDC at FIU. “Factor in that most Miami-Dade companies doing business internationally are in only one country outside the U.S., and you see the incredible growth potential.”
In an effort to increase the number of South Florida-based businesses engaged in international sales, the Florida SBDC at FIU expanded the resources available to business owners. Initiatives include one-on-one consulting with owners generating less than $20 million in annual revenue, market research, and development of an Export Marketing Plan, a customized program focused on international market opportunities and strategies.
The Global Business Workshop was presented in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Beacon Council, and the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney.
For more information on taking your business global, contact the Florida SBDC at FIU by visiting sbdc.fiu.edu or calling (305) 779-9230.