Chicago Business Leaders Conference; Day 2

This morning we are hearing from the Chairman of the Board and President of the World Trade Center, Chicago Illinois; the third largest in our nation behind New York and Dallas.  How does your business look in the future – have you ever considered the international market?  This was really interesting…the biggest obstacle is, most US businesses are uneducated regarding international business, but there actually are some great opportunities.

1. Can you open up new markets internationally?  I worked with a small integrator in Guatemala earlier this year – they are doing business internationally, taking support contracts which are annuity based, to handle the third-party help desk for a major manufacturer here in the US, but doing it globally. This has tremendously grown their business.

2. Markets are growing in Brazil, China, India, and Russia…this can’t happen without trade partners.  The World Trade Center is the number three brand in the world, but few of us in the US understand what they do.  When companies like yours join the World Trade organization, they assess your company, help you research global market conditions, and then help generate leads for your organization.  You might think small companies can’t do this, but the fact is, you can.  Global markets want US product through a good supplier.

3. When I say products –  It can be services or products.  A bridge is created – linking companies like yours with companies coming into the US and needing US services to be successful.  This would include IT services and managed services.  The World Trade group then acts as a coach to assist you in setting up these relationships.

5. Web technology makes all of this possible even for tiny companies – so even the smallest companies can operate internationally.  My company has one person in it…me.  Over the past year I have worked in 6 countries and generated a third of my revenues internationally.

6. The WTC systems can track every product and service that changes hands internationally – they can track competition, partners, distributors, etc. to create a match or help you compete.  Trust is the key to building these relationships, so heading out on your own is probably not going to happen.  The WTC creates a hub for this network.

7. The WTC is membership driven, but not very expensive…it might be something to look into.  How will you continue to reinvent your business over the next 5 years?

© 2012, David Stelzl


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