Friday, December 18, 2009

Press the Go Global Button in 2010

As featured in the

Some Small Businesses Grow, Even in a Recession
Even before last fall’s crash, sales at Lexington International, a 12-employee maker of a laser device for treating hair loss, started heading south. “People cut down on nonessential health care items, and we really felt it,” said David Michaels, managing director of the company, which is based in Boca Raton, Fla., and was founded nine years ago. When he analyzed his company’s performance, Mr. Michaels concluded that the possibilities for domestic sales growth were slim. But he had started exporting his product, called HairMax, to Canada and Australia in 2001. Perhaps expanding to other countries was the answer.
Mr. Michaels turned to the Gold Key Service of the Commerce Department, hiring consultants who spent several months conducting industry research and visiting a handful of countries, the better to pinpoint potential distribution partners. Then, Mr. Michaels traveled to those places to meet his partners in person. At the same time, the consultants helped him understand the regulatory issues he would have to tackle in each country. Ultimately, the licensing process took three to nine months, depending on the region. The most difficult country was South Korea, which, Mr. Michaels said, has a particularly rigorous licensing procedure for medical devices.
Now, he is also selling to Russia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, in addition to South Korea, where, Mr. Michaels said, “There are significant social advantages to having a great head of hair.” He figures that international sales have more than compensated for the decline in the United States.
Read the entire article here.

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