Blog: Dispelling Export Myths

An Expert's View about Imports/Exports in the United States

Last updated: 4 Feb 2013

When companies consider exporting, like any serious decision, they need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages.  If, after careful consideration, they come to the conclusion that exporting their product or service will be beneficial, they should proceed, but with caution.  However, if the business comes to the conclusion that they should not export and base that decision on perceived myths, then they will lose out on tremendous opportunity.  Below, we have some myths that we want to dispel.  All decisions should be based on facts.

MYTH: Exporting is only for large companies.
FACT: Small firms account for 97% of all exporters, and 70% of companies have 20 or fewer employees (Dept. of Commerce).

MYTH: I don't need to export, my domestic sales are strong.
FACT: Your over-seas competition is most certainly looking at the U.S.. market also.  Meeting your competition in their market will lead to a global competitive edge for you. Additionally, when your business is dependent on one economy for success, what happens when that economy experiences a down-turn?  By casting your sales net wide, and having many successful markets, when one experiences a down-turn, your company will continue to thrive.

MYTH: Only experienced exporters or financial experts can accept payment in foreign currency and understand currency exchanges.
FACT: You can quote your prices in U.S.. dollars.  Or, if you have a bank that has an international presence, you can use their expertise in the area of currency conversion.  Also, there are government resources available to assist in this area as well.

MYTH: I can't sell in foreign markets because I don't know the language.
FACT: Many foreign business executives and business owners speak English.  Additionally, many trade intermediaries or distributors in foreign markets speak English. The U.S. Department of Commerce can provide assistance with translators.

MYTH: My overseas orders can be handled by my website.  I don't need to actively pursue international sales.
FACT: Is your website translatable? If foreign visitors can't read about the product(s) you sell, how can they buy? Is the payment system on your website able to accept international payment methods?   Additionally, if one order is coming in from one foreign market, it is safe to presume that there are many other potential customers that you can actively reach as well.


At the Import Export Institute, we have export training and services available to give you the edge to make your international expansion efforts successful.  Please contact us and we can provide you with the information and tools so that you will be a successful exporter.  Visit, or call us at 888-855-7515. 

copyright 2009-2012, Import Export Institute Dana Smith

Posted: 21 September 2012, last updated 4 February 2013

See more from Imports/Exports in the United States

Expert Views    
Make Money as an Import Export Trade Broker   By Import Export Institute
Should You Export?   By Import Export Institute
How to Start an Import Export Business   By Import Export Institute
Blog: Dispelling Export Myths   By Import Export Institute
Zepol 2009 Citrus Import/Export Report   By Zepol Corporation