Middle Market: Going Global: The Benefits

You don’t have to be a jet-setting, fiscal guru like the partners at Plante Moran to know that diversity is the backbone of any strong portfolio. Food for thought from the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM): “Through the depths of the recession in 2005 to 2009, smaller and mid-sized manufacturing firms that exported experienced over 35 percent revenue growth while firms that did not export saw revenue decline by seven percent.” So the saying goes… “When one door closes, another opens.”

Expanding internationally has shown statistically to increase revenue streams, which in turn, can stimulate employee benefits. From NCMM: “2007 data showed that exporting firms generated double the amount of sales revenues and paid 20 percent higher wages than non-exporters.” Moreover, “Nearly 25 percent of U.S. middle market executives feel that activity in a foreign market has taught them to be significantly stronger in the U.S.” Happy employees plus stronger leaders makes a recipe for success.

Is your company one that can thrive through global expansion? An analysis by Stone and Associates* calculated “…there are up to 80,000 small and mid-sized manufacturing businesses in the U.S. that have the proven product and resources to expand to more markets and thus are on the ‘threshold’ to be successful, regular exporters. (…) The U.S. currently runs a trade surplus in services, and thanks to digitization, services increasingly are tradable – from architecture and design to information technology and medical diagnostics to consulting and financial services.” So I ask you: Why not your company? Why not you?

We at the Ohio Chamber are here to help. We have met and worked with a network of resources to help guide you along this process such as Plante Moran, Columbus 2020, The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, the Greater Columbus Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Honk Kong Trade Development Council, and PacifiComm. We urge you to contemplate this step towards expanding your business overseas and reach out so we can put you in touch with the right resources to help you take your company to the next level.

International expansion isn’t for every company and it won’t happen overnight. It takes time, planning, and commitment. However, the very first step is simply your commitment to thinking about your company in a global sense. Ask yourself, “What can my product or service give to the world?” Start by looking for a trusted individual who can help you research where your company might fit in to the global economy. If you need some help finding someone, just reach out and the Ohio Chamber will help. Though the first step is always as scary as it is rewarding, in this case, the payoff has the potential to be bigger than you’ve ever imagined.

*Stone & Associates, “On the Threshold: Refocusing U.S. Export Assistance Strategy for Manufacturers,” 2013