Foreign Exports Drive Sales or Indicate Attitude?

At today’s Economic Development Council Richard Paullin, Chief Operating Officer – Illinois Global Partnership, told us that only 12% of Illinois Manufacturers export goods. Not surprising given my earlier post on how few manufacturers in the region are working to adopt technology more fully in their business. The stat that caught me, however, was that the firms that were selling internationally on average were growing 20% faster and paid employees 15% better.

The good news is that Illinois Global Partnership is working on developing infrastructure to help smaller and mid-size businesses develop overseas markets. The question is, if only 10% of manufacturers have the management savvy enough to actively pursue technological improvement, how many businesses will jump at the opportunity to strategically diversify their business internationally?

Where does your company sit? Are you actively pursuing foreign markets? Have you tried and given up due to cost, complexity or financing? Is it in your top three priorities or somewhere on the next page?

In addition to infrastructure and opportunity the Illinois Global Partnership will obviously have to work on pushing companies strategically decide to develop overseas markets or movement will be limited to the few with a clue.

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