Small businesses are breaking barriers and going international, a new study by foreign exchange companyUSForex has found.
The survey shows 58 percent of small businesses already have international customers, while 72 percent plan to grow their international customer base by 2017. About 96 percent of these small businesses, in fact, are confident about conducting business abroad.
“Going global is no longer an option for successful small- and medium-sized businesses — it’s a strategic imperative,” said Karin Visnick, head of North America, USForex.
Why are Small Businesses Going Global?
According to the survey, factors such as access to higher quality suppliers or vendors (43 percent) and higher quality talent (42 percent) are encouraging businesses to expand across borders. Cheaper access to suppliers or vendors (41 percent) and cheaper talent (28 percent) are other prominent factors driving this trend.
Karin Visnick explained, “Facing domestic uncertainty — political and economic — SMBs are feeling the pinch here at home. New technology and tools are putting global talent, suppliers and markets within reach of businesses that just a few years ago would have never thought to look beyond U.S. borders.”
Challenges Facing Businesses
Although businesses are tempted to expand their global presence, there are challenges that dissuade some companies from going global.
According to the survey, small businesses feel the U.S. presidential election and global terrorism are the biggest factors that may impact their international business. Respondents also feel international market conditions, lack of understanding of local best practices and fees charged to sell overseas are key concerns.
“It’s clear that SMBs are optimistic and eager to expand their business across U.S. borders, though slightly cautious about local business conditions and the impact of major global events,” noted David Nicholls, head of payment solutions, USForex.
“Among our own customers we’re experiencing an increasing number of businesses that are seeking out the proper tools and guidance they need to navigate the changing global business landscape, and ultimately make their international expansion a successful one.”
About the USForex Survey
For the study, USForex partnered with Researchscape and surveyed more than 300 U.S. small-to-medium sized businesses over the course of two weeks.
USForex is a provider of online alternatives to existing currency exchange services.
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