The Value of Trade Missions: Explore New Markets for Growth

Selling outside the domestic market can take your business to a new and exciting level. Entering new markets can grow your business and create new streams of revenue, but it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. A lot of preparation and research is necessary to decide what market would best suit your business. To help bring your products or services into new markets, NLOWE has an export consultant on staff. Our export consultant can help determine how ready you are and make the transition as seamless as possible. If you are ready to export and interested in breaking into a particular market, our export consultant can prepare you for a trade mission.

Trade missions offer an opportunity to explore a market and meet with consultants, buyers, business owners, and potential clients, all while experiencing the culture of your desired market firsthand, networking with other businesses, and receiving support from organizations and federal government agencies in your delegation.

Regardless of where a trade mission takes you, the value and benefits can be considerable.

  • One-on-one appointments: Trade missions often offer the opportunity to meet with a matchmaker in advance. Ideally, this person will provide you with the type of connections you are looking for to break into the new market. These meetings are exclusive and offer an invaluable opportunity to trade mission delegates.
  • Networking opportunities: NLOWE’s trade missions are most often linked to an international conference being held in the area. A good conference delivers a number of networking opportunities. One benefit of attending a trade mission is the opportunity to network with business owners, corporations, and government officials from around the world. The connections you make could prove very helpful as you move forward with your market entry plans. Take a look at the list of conference participants in advance so that you can create a list of specific people you are interested in meeting. Additionally, prepare a list of questions you have about doing business in the market before you meet with these people, so they can offer you firsthand experiences and local knowledge specific to your business.
  • Opportunities to initiate and develop partnerships: Meeting people from your desired market could eventually lead to beneficial business relationships. Establishing a partnership is a great way to enter a new market, using local expertise as your guide to understanding the business culture and taking advantage of each other’s strengths to maximize the opportunities for your combined business efforts.
  • Experiencing the culture of a new market: What better way to learn about a market than to experience it firsthand? Attending a trade mission is a great way to learn how business dealings are handled, from networking, establishing relationships, follow-up procedures, and creating and finalizing sales. Eat local food, learn about the economy of the region, research local trends, take note of appropriate business attire, and meet people in the area that can answer specific questions you may have.
  • Opportunities to connect with government agencies and corporate officials: Beyond the matchmaker meetings, trade missions include the opportunity to connect with government officials on a personal level. Government officials are a tremendous resource when it comes to breaking into new markets. As a trade mission delegate, you can participate in preparatory meetings and webinars that give you a concise and informed breakdown of everything you need to know about your market. Fostering relationships with these officials provides you with an invaluable resource for your business growth aspirations down the road. Government officials and other trade mission delegates can easily connect you to corporate officials that are able to buy directly from your business, or can connect you to corporations that will.

A trade mission is an incredible opportunity to take advantage of if your business is truly prepared to enter a new market. If you are interested in learning more about how your business can join a delegation on a trade mission with NLOWE, contact Deb Youden, Export Consultant with NLOWE, at dyouden@nlowe.org.

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