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Is Exporting For You?

Dec 03, 2010

Have you been thinking about starting to export your products outside of the state?  Many Wyoming companies look at exporting as selling to Colorado or Utah.  However, many of our products may well find a market outside the US.  The question is how do you know whether or not an opportunity is right for you?


If you already sell to Canada, then adding Mexico or Chile would probably be good places to expand because their import regulations are very friendly to US products.  The key to exporting is knowledge about the market and one thing that many companies don’t realize is that there is a great source of detailed information on over 100 countries available for free from the US Commercial Service.  The USCS Country Commercial Guides are a updated annually and contain information on market conditions, purchasing power, consumer trends, distribution channels, navigation of the country’s import rules, best sectors, key contacts and more.  To view the guides, go to

This site offers great advice about how to evaluate each country you are interested and can help guide you in making your plans to enter the international field. 

Things to consider include:

  • Use historical value and volume data to determine market demand and trends.  Statistical data on exports are available from the FAS, Department of Commerce and the National Trade Data Bank.
  • Identify several markets that are large and growing.  Also look for smaller market that may provide “ground-floor” opportunities.
  • Decide which markets have the most potential and the strongest supporting data.


Once you’ve screened your potential markets, assess each by looking at:

  • Product Trends: consumption, value of imports, demographics, etc.
  • Competition: who are they and are they domestic or imported.
  • Marketing: what channels of distribution are used, what are the cultural differences, prices.
  • Trade Barriers: tariffs and non-tariff barriers, packaging, certification, labeling.
  • Promotion opportunities: trade shows, missions, leads, industry partners.


Once you’ve evaluated each market, chances are that one will pop out as being the best opportunity.  For additional assistance in starting up your international marketing journey, contact Wyoming Entrepreneur as shown below.


Are you exporting now?  Have you in the past?  What have been your experiences?

Category: International

Mike Lambert

Mike Lambert is the manager of the Wyoming Market Research Center in Laramie, WY.

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