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Export Readiness Creating Your Export Plan Sec 4 Part 2 B

Published on 1/8/2017
For additional information  Click Here


Image result for e commerce technology and exporting



Export Readiness:

Utilizing Technology for Successful Exporting


Section 4 Part 2 B

Ecommerce Tools, Equipping Your Business With technology

Worksheet: Technology Tracker


Reminder: Some parts of the world are behind on technology Also, a customizable App that you can change out and send and receive unlimited SMS and push message may be a good communication tool.

Equipping Your Business with Technology

 At a minimum, your business should have an adequate telephone system and the ability to send and receive email. You should also have a website for global presence, and may wish to have faxing capabilities for transmitting international documents to those areas where an infrastructure of web-based technology is not as prevalent. There are some areas that do not even have faxing capabilities, in this case then it is the mail that you have to depend on..

Keep in mind that SBA’s loan program Export Express can help you with financing of equipment needed for building your export business, including the development/updating of an exporting website.


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Key Functionality to Consider:

Conference Calls Your phone system should support worldwide communications and the ability to conference with several parties at once. Communications can be more effective when you, your overseas customer and your overseas agent can be linked by a conference call. This can be through your actual phone equipment or through a call-in number and password. There are vendors to be found on the web through which you can set up an international conference call account.

Contact Management Another handy feature is the ability to store and automatically dial the numbers you call most frequently. Because overseas calls typically involve dialing at least 14 digits—a special prefix (usually 011) followed by a country code, a city code and then the local number—automatic dialing can save you time, plus the need to look up each number

Mobile Phones It’s much easier for you, your overseas contacts and your customers to not have to think about “where” you/they are calling when needing to make contact—which is why you and your staff need mobile phones. Being reachable 24/7—especially when dealing with international time zones— has become the norm.

Even if you let calls go to voicemail, at least you’ll be carrying your most urgent notifications with you for as soon as you are able to access voicemail and address issues and requests.

 Taking this access a step further, smartphones enable you/your staff to check email, conduct banking functions, access the web, track shipments, and maintain your contact list, in addition to being reachable no matter where you are. Many U.S. cell phones/plans do not include access outside the United States. So, be sure to choose phones with international dialing and data functionality.

Voicemail Closing the time-zone gap between your U.S. office and your customer’s foreign location can give you a competitive advantage. Plus, foreign prospects and customers should have the option of contacting you outside of normal business hours. Voicemail or a personal answering service may accomplish this.

Consider a voicemail system that is customizable in several languages and guides callers to price quotes or service information even when your business is closed for the day or weekend. Also, make sure that your system allows you to retrieve messages from any place in the world.


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In most parts of the world, email is the primary mode of business communication, both internally and externally. It gives you an inexpensive and expeditious way to stay in touch with employees, contractors, customers, agents, and international resources. If you decide to sell your product or service exclusively on the web, email is the essential means of communication for everyone with whom you do business.

Facsimile (Fax) Machines/Desktop

Faxing Despite the prevalence of scanners and emailed documents, sometimes it’s still necessary to send a fax. Faxing enables you to deliver important documents quickly to overseas customers and financial institutions. (Since software enables computers to send and receive faxes, the need for an actual fax “machine” is limited … although it can be a great fallback on the rare occasion that timing is of the essence and your computer system goes down.)

Because inbound computer faxes are usually captured as photos, optical character recognition (OCR) software is needed to convert the text into a computer-readable format and allow you to manipulate the text. If a signature is required, software can be used to paste your signature onto a document to be faxed.


Your website can be an inexpensive and highly effective way to market your product or service globally. Before developing a site, however, you need to be aware of regulations and technical details that may affect the ability of potential customers to view your site. In addition, certain technical methods used to build websites may help or hinder others in their attempt to locate your site using search engines.

When designing a website for international use, it is generally true that “less is more.” Numerous images, for example, can make a site attractive but time-consuming to download. When designing your site, make sure that people with a variety of computer capabilities can easily access your site.

A site that takes a long time to download will turn people away.


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Your Exporting Website: Important Considerations

  • The text should be concise, well-organized and designed to make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.
  • Contact information and links should allow the visitor to find more information quickly. Specify your hours of “live” customer service accessibility if appropriate.
  • Language accessibility is also important. Use global English, and offer information in the language of each country to which you plan to export.
  • Include international telephone dialing information for callers from overseas where appropriate.
  • Provide answers to your most frequently asked questions, such as information about shipping terms, duties, etc.

For more information on options for your e-commerce exporting website, explore Types of E-Commerce Websites at


Personal Computers, Web Access and Software Power

In a small firm, personal computers (PC or Mac) with high-speed Internet access will meet most of your business needs. By having the following system basics, you’ll have the essential tools needed to operate effectively:

  • Word processor
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Database management
  • Email software
  • Contact management software (often bundled with your email client) that maintains contacts and keeps a history of communications (a very effective system will allow you to view customer information on-screen while speaking on the phone)
  • Antivirus software subscription that scans email and files to prevent computer corruption
  • Firewalls to prevent unauthorized communication to and from your PC
  • Accounting/billing software (prepackaged or customized to your company’s/industry’s needs) or an online accounting service


This concludes 

Ecommerce Tools, Equipping Your Business With technology


Next Post

Summary, Timeline and Updates



Thank you for stopping by!


You can download the full pdf.file here



Your Export Plan Section 5 Part 1

Export Readiness Creating Your Export Plan Sec 4 Part 2 A

Export Readiness Creating Your Export Plan Sec 4 Part 1




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