There are many benefits to exporting including increasing your sales, paying your employees higher wages, and overall business longevity.

With so many advantages, some companies are still hesitant to begin exporting because of the common misconceptions. Luckily, we are here to demystify those common myths and share resources that can help you leap into expanding and growing your business internationally through exports. Below we will review the most common export myths!

  1. Exporting is too complicated: Finding potential markets, partners and buyers has become easier through the services offered by several resources including the International Trade Administration-U.S. Export Assistance Centers ( and our CITD-SBDC at OSU. Other resources exist to support you with export financing and export credit insurance!

    Our Oklahoma Small Business Development Center (SBDC)- Center for International Trade Development at OSU (CITD) can support you with one-on-one trade facilitation to help you get started or help you navigate the export ecosystem. In Oklahoma, other local entities include the District Export Council, our local U.S. Commercial Service, and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce who administers the STEP Grant and the newest program, Global Opportunities Oklahoma to help you with market research, export business planning, and connect you with buyers.

  2. Exporting is risky: Small business owners often fear not receiving payment. Fortunately, banking and insurance institutions offer a safeguard for overseas receivables, ensuring protection against nonpayment from international buyers.  One of these institutions is EXIM’s Export Credit Insurance.

    Other risk mitigation measures exist to help you reduce your risk. Contact us to find out more! You can also learn more on our on-demand training videos Trade Passport: Assessing and Mitigating Credit Risk.

  3. I’m too small to go global: There is no business “too small”. According to Census, almost half of the U.S. exporters have less than 20 employees. With proper due diligence and export preparation, any business is capable! In Oklahoma, SMEs account for 84% of the state’s exporters! Let us help you with your export readiness and export training. You can also access our on-demand training platform, Trade Passport here.

  4. My product or service won’t sell outside the U.S.: According to the Office of Small Business “Made in the USA” products are perceived to be innovative, creative, high quality, durable, safe, and easy to reach. This perception both domestically and internationally proves the excellent reputation of American products. The USA brand has a positive reputation however, it is important to ensure that you have a competitive product or service offering. Read the full blog here: Office of Small Business.
  5. I don’t speak another language and it will be difficult to communicate with foreign buyers: Of the world’s 7.8 billion inhabitants, over 1.35 billion speak English.  In most countries, English is spoken fluently or at least as a second or third language. Translators or interpreters can also be utilized. TIP: It is important to acknowledge that a country’s culture always has an impact on how international trade is conducted.

    To learn more about cultural considerations in international business, refer to this article from Amaratunga, O. (2021): Culture and International Business.

As a small business owner and member of the Oklahoma District Export Council once said, “Selling internationally is not much different from selling domestically, it just has a few more steps.” Whether you are a new, a first-time exporter, or curious about selling your product internationally, our SBDC-ITC at Oklahoma State University, Wes Watkins Center for International Trade Development can help you figure out what steps you need to take to successfully sell your products abroad. Register for advising or call us today and stay connected on our social media for the latest news on international trade!

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