Are you exporting? According to the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM), the odds are that you are not. Sixty percent of middle market businesses do not export at all yielding about nine percent of U.S. export value. Moreover, “Only four percent of mid-sized firms are expanding overseas, and three percent regularly review international options.” In a global economy that is consistently increasing in size and inter-connectivity, there is huge money being left on the table by not exporting. But where should you be looking to export? How do you start? How do you navigate the waters to success? Let’s start with a lay of the land to gain some much needed perspective.
There are 7.4 billion people living on Earth and the populations of some foreign countries have continued to grow exponentially. What fascinates us at the Ohio Chamber is that over half the world’s population now live in growing metropolitan areas. Within these areas lives an expanding consumer base needing imported goods and services from around the world. Our collective buying power will reach $35 trillion in the next 15 years. According to NCMM, the percentage of the world’s population living in cities will reach “66 percent by 2050, with nearly 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa (…) While North America comprises 18 percent of middle class consumers today, that share will diminish to just six percent.”
As this gap widens and buying power increases, so too do your overseas opportunities. So why not start looking at these options? One analysis from Brookings found that “the main reason why local small and mid-sized enterprises do not export is fear of the unknown, in the form of regulations, currency risks, language, and cultural differences.” What if we could overcome these fears with the right kind of guidance support? This is where the Ohio Chamber’s new Middle Market Taskforce can help.