Small Business, International Trade, and the Blueprint Forward

Interrnational trade is becoming an increasingly large factor in the operations of small businesses. Advances in technology provided by computers and mobile communication devices have allowed small businesses to tap into this lucrative market. The internet provides a platform to gain access to markets all over the world that previously only large scale firms had the resources needed to tap into. The internet has numerous directories which list the resources available to help small businesses find information on how to locate markets abroad, and the methods needed to provide them with products. Search engines can provide listings for specific markets such as Europe or Asia, and specific industries as diverse as mining and medical instruments. Courses can even be found online outlining the business etiquette to be used in such procedures. They will walk the neophyte through every step needed to make such an operation a success. Numerous governmental agencies are devoted to helping small business operators in this regard. In the United States, the Small Business Administration comes immediately to mind, but a search engine request will unlock an abundance of other departments available to help small business expand in this field. There are also many trade associations available… read more »

Dynamic Business Approaches: Shipping Methods to Match Your Needs

As the global economy becomes more integrated, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to consider the manner in which they ship their goods and services. All forms of transport are growing in volume world wide. Transit by ship and by air is growing quickly while moving goods by rail and by truck is experiencing a similarly rapid increase. The internet is just one more tool that aids the process of shipping products from suppliers to customers. The internet tends to speed up all forms of shipping by enhancing the links between production and consumption. Orders can be more specific and more quickly processed. Goods can be tracked more closely. Delays can be identified more readily, and corrected more rapidly. Production can be keyed to demand in rapid fashion. Billing can be done instantaneously. All forms of shipping have been aided by the internet. The overwhelming bulk of international trade is carried on ships, and while computers and the internet have certainly helped efficiency here, of even greater importance has been the development of container technology. Containers eliminate the need for a crew of dockworkers to laboriously unload cargo. Cranes now quickly transfer them from ship to truck or rail… read more »

Commitment to Local Economies Through International Trade Vital to Business

All economists agree that trade is a vital component in any economy, but the value of international trade to local economies is often overlooked because the benefits are often hidden. The dollar value of imports and exports are difficult to keep track of when the distribution system runs through so many stages. It can be hard to tell exactly what constitutes an import or an export when a product contains portions of both. Automobiles are an excellent example of this. In the United States, General Motors is generally viewed as an American automaker, but G.M. makes many of its cars overseas, and many of the components of the cars it assembles in the United States are fabricated in foreign countries. Honda, on the other hand, is seen as a Japanese automaker, but Honda assembles many of its cars in the United States, and even the cars it manufactures in Japan and brings into the United States contain many American-made components. The disruption caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami stopped production for many Japanese parts makers, but its effects were also felt by many local economies in the United States that were dependent on these materials. The supply chains of… read more »