The New Caribbean Economy

financial situation or anything like that.”

Gaining access to these markets, Rainey says, isn’t difficult. It requires a little research and a quality product thats in demand. “You’re sending things overseas, so it’s a big investment,” he says. “You have to ensure accuracy and make sure your response time is minimal. Getting an account is one thing; keeping it is another. Quality delivery and service is what keeps them.”

Top 10 Tips on Exporting

Develop a clear export strategy.

Identify your market, research your potential area, and conduct a risk/reward assessment.

Make sure your product is export-ready (standards compliance, regulations, labeling, licensing, etc.).

Be patient and realistic when going international. Take a long-term approach.

Seek professional help from the U.S. Commercial Service (, District Export Council, bankers, international legal firms, and freight forwarders.

Understand and select the best distribution channel for each country. Research potential distribution partners.

Create payment terms and conditions that meet the market’s needs/standards. You can offer terms to your foreign buyers.

Meet your competitors head-on by using the EXIM Bank and Small Business Association export programs.

– Design your Website to be attractive and responsive to foreign buyers.

– Take advantage of U.S. government export promotion services, everything from export financing to market research to advocating for your products in overseas markets. These services are affordable and effective, regardless of company size.

— Hazel Ross-Robinson, Chana Garcia, LaToya Smith also reported for this story.

This story originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.

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