October 23, 2015

Workshop to focus on international markets

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- There is literally a whole world out there when it comes to marketing business sales and services, and a new workshop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is designed to help companies tap into those worldwide markets. 

“Finding and Conquering International Sales” is a free workshop set for 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive in Carbondale. Elizabeth Ahern, director of United States Commercial Service in Peoria, will be the guest presenter. 

Ahern previously worked with the International Trade Center at Kaskaskia College in Centralia, where she provided international business expertise to companies from 2011 to 2015.  She has more than 20 years of experience assisting companies in both the private and public sectors. 

Expanding a business into the international marketplace is a long-term process involving numerous steps. The workshop will incorporate a review of typical export process start-up scenarios and how to proceed. Participants will learn about assessing export readiness, finding customers, fulfilling orders from foreign buyers, shipping the order with proper documentation, and getting paid as expected. In addition, Ahern will advise as to how the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service can assist with the process of exporting. 

“This is a great workshop for our small- to medium-size companies or global entrepreneurs who would like to enhance their businesses by selling their goods internationally,” Michelle M. Breslin, international trade specialist, said. “They will have the opportunity to ask Elizabeth specific questions about taking their businesses international or, if they are already exporting, they can discuss issues they have encountered and how to avoid or correct them.”

The workshop will wrap up about noon and a luncheon will follow. There is no cost for the event but participants must RSVP by Nov. 16. To sign up, call 618/453-3805 or email mbreslin@siu.edu.   

This is the second in a series of international trade workshops in 2015. For more information about the SBDC/International Trade Center or the multitude of services provided there to new and expanding businesses, contact Robyn Laur Russell, director of business development and international trade, at rrussell@biz.siu.edu or call 618/536-2424. 

The Illinois Small Business Development Center/International Trade Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and hosted by SIU.