Are you a small Manufacturing Business looking to export your products and obtain customers in the international markets?
A lot of manufacturers are unaware of the grants that are currently available to help you successfully enter into the international marketplace.
What Is A Manufacturing Grant?
In general, a grant refers to the funds that are paid to a manufacturer for a particular project. The grant will specifically contain precise qualifications on how the funds are to be utilized. Your manufacturing business will not be required to repay the grant - that is, unless you fail to uphold the terms of the grant and agreement.
Manufacturers directly have access to a grant that is known as the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).
What Is The STEP Grant?
The STEP grant is intended to assist small manufacturing businesses who are, particularly, looking to grow and extend their presence internationally.
An exporting grant, like this one, will cover a portion of the marketing costs that you incur, as you expand your manufacturing business overseas. This program is going to distribute funds through state entities. Therefore, depending on the state that your company is located in, there will be a certain amount of financial assistance that is accessible for the following marketing activities:
- Website foreign language translation
- Website optimization services
- Trade show exhibitions
- Design of international marketing campaigns
- & many more
With the STEP program, your business will have the opportunity to properly attain a globalized website presence, through website internationalization.
What Is Website Internationalization?
Website Internationalization is a process that companies will go through to reach a targeted audience and potential customers, in other countries, more effectively.
Your website will need to be optimized for search engines, in order to acquire customers in the international markets. If your company cannot be found in the search engine results pages (SERPs), you will not be able to sell any products internationally. A crucial part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is targeting the right keywords on your web pages. Optimizing your manufacturer website accurately will enable you to discover and resolve any issues that would have, potentially, prevented an international buyer from finding your manufacturing business online.
In addition to that, it is also important that you clearly indicate to your website visitors that you have the ability to handle international sales. One way to do this is by implementing a foreign language translation on your manufacturer website.
If you want to successfully export your manufacturing products overseas, a globalized website presence is going to be crucial.
What Is A Globalized Website Presence?
Website Globalization is the method that is utilized to effectively generate a growth in eCommerce sales internationally.
Maintaining a globalized website presence will, ultimately, consist of three stages:
During the website internationalization process, it is critical that you conduct a website audit. Conducting an audit on your website is going to help you solve the technical issues that could have kept your web pages from showing up in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
An audit will allow you to analyze:
- The performance evaluation of your website
- How each web page is performing
- The current ranking of your website in international search
Reviewing the analytics of your manufacturer website is essential for regionalization.
Perform market research and thoroughly review your website analytics data, in order to make decisions about your online sales efforts. In doing so, you can specifically target the regional market that, essentially, shows promising results in your data. To successfully imply market regionalization through your website, you can administer a foreign language translation or even add a local web page dropdown option.
If your website's analytics data reveals that your overall traffic - which is, at least, 5% or more - is coming from a particular region of the market, then that is a good reason to localize your website in that international market.
Localizing your website for a specific market that is international will be a thorough process. It will entail using a native speaker who is from that exact regional market, in order to properly translate the content that is on your web pages. Not only that, but localizing your website correctly will also require a local domain suffix from that region, for your website's URL.
A Government Grant For Your Manufacturing Business
Are you looking to obtain customers in the international marketplace, as a small Manufacturing Business?
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is currently accepting proposals for the STEP grant funding. This program's funding is coming from state entities that are eligible to provide financial assistance to small manufacturing businesses like yours.
If your manufacturing company is located in the state of Oklahoma, then the Oklahoma Department of Commerce can offer you funding for the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) of up to $28,000.
Is your manufacturing company located in another state? There is an entire directory of STEP awardees!
Are you ready to attain a globalized website presence? Driven Digital will help you get in touch with your state's project director and assist you through the process. Schedule a meeting with us today!