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Income is up for both small- and mid-sized U.S. companies conducting business in the world market, whether selling services or merchandise, according to the 2016 American Express Grow Global Survey.
In the study 80% of companies indicated that they have seen a bump in revenue from last year, for a quarter of respondents this upswing in growth was directly related to international sales with 76% indicating that over the past half a decade they have experienced a 30% increase in sales globally. When predicting future revenue, the companies were bullish about exporting moving forward.
International Markets offer rewards but there is risk
When it comes to growing their business, 90% believe that international markets provide them with a lot of opportunity, but that does not mean that they don't also see challenges with doing business in this market.
One of the biggest challenges for 75% of companies is growing relationships with partners in foreign lands. But that is not all. They are also challenged by issues around complyiance with local and international law, as well as dealing with trade regulations (73%), transportation (73%) and shipping costs (73%).
Asking for and getting help when it comes navigating these issues in the international arena is something they know needed. Especially when it comes to addressing cultural differences/different business practices (65%), political instability (64%), language barriers (59%) and a lack of knowledge when it comes to understanding the markets in which they are doing business (57%).
American Express rolled out the Grow Global program in 2015 in order to help owners of both small and medium businesses in exporting on with access to resources and networking opportunities.
"Our research shows that despite potential challenges, many companies still see international business as an important growth opportunity," said Ed Marsh, Export Advisor to American Express. "Through our Grow Global program, we know that getting started can often be the hardest part, but when businesses get on the path to global sales, they realize exporting has organizational benefits beyond just revenue growth."
The 2016 American Express Grow Global Survey was conducted by Teneo Strategy between August 11 and 19. They interviewed 500 U.S. companies ranging in revenue from $250,000 to less than $1 billion.