New Survey Shows Growth in Small Business Exporting

The National Small Business Association (NSBA) and its international trade arm, the Small Business Exporters Association (SBEA), today released the 2013 Small Business Exporting Survey.

Among the key findings: more small businesses are exporting today than just three years ago; and there has been a marked increase among non-exporters who said they would be interested in starting to export their goods and/or services from just 43 percent in 2010 to 63 percent today.

The survey shows a significant drop among non-exporters who said lack of goods or services to export was their main barrier to selling internationally. Today, their main barrier is a lack of information and an unclear understanding of where to start.

“The growth we’re seeing in small-business exporters underscores a broad change in attitude about exporting,” said NSBA Chair and past SBEA Chair, David Ickert of Air Tractor, Inc. in Olney, Texas. “Not only are small businesses seeing growing opportunities available to them via exporting, they increasingly view their goods and/or services as valuable in a global marketplace.”

Regarding the key challenges facing exporters, nearly half of small-business exporters spend a minimum of a few months as well as an average of 8.4 percent of their annual operating revenue preparing to export. Following such a large investment, it’s no wonder that getting paid is a significant worry for exporters and non-exporters alike.

“One of the key take-aways from this survey ought to be the imperative to make exporting more accessible for America’s small businesses,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “When asked about federal support, two of the top three recommendations among both exporters and non-exporters was to improve availability of information and consolidate federal agencies to provide a one-stop-shop.”