If you own or manage a small or medium-sized business, you might wonder when it is time to start thinking about expanding your trade outside of the United States. But when is it time to contact a global banker about your international needs? Simply put, if your business has a website and gets inquiries from outside the United States, guess what…you are on the cusp of being in global business!

Expanding Your Business

With 96% of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, it is a wise strategy to consider expanding your client base across borders. Too often, companies turn down these international opportunities simply because they are concerned about getting paid and the processes and paperwork involved with getting their product or service to the foreign customer. A global banker can show you the different options for securing payment from abroad, as well as act as a consultant to connect you with the various government agencies and private companies that can help with the physical export process.

Securing Foreign Payments

There are several options for securing payment from your foreign buyer. Depending on your product or service, quantity involved, country where it will be sent, your comfort level for credit risk, etc., a global banker can explain which payment terms would best fit your situation. For example, the most secure payment terms would be an international wire transfer payment from the buyer in advance of shipping the product or providing the service. On the opposite end is the least secure, which would be offering open account to the foreign customer. Of course, there are other options in between, like an export letter of credit, site or time draft, documentary collections and others.

So when you do finally decide to stick a toe in the sea of international business, or dive in head first, count on your global banker to be there to help you navigate the waters of world commerce.

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