Think of California's Silicon Valley back in the early 2000's. Think of the many companies that had to cut back or fail in the middle of the dot-com meltdown. Telewave Inc. became an expert at making two-way radio equipment. How did a small company such as Telewave Inc. stay alive? They followed a conservative investment strategy that didn't rely on the stock market and borrowed money. The company also focused on lower- to mid-level technology products instead of the breakthrough gadgets. Finally, they grew and spread business-cycle and industry risk across new markets. Now Telewave makes over 1,000 products, which include a ceramic autotune combiner, or "black box." It decreases the number of dropped cell calls, reduces electricity usage by 20 percent, and monitors equipment which in turn lowers personnel costs. But diversifying products can't be the only reason Telewave is still around in this global economy.

Telewave just recently completed it's first sale to a buyer in Brazil. Although doing business in Latin America is not without risk (as it is risky in many regions), there are plenty of opportunities. The easiest way to tap into these markets and receive qualified buyers and useful market research is to contact the U.S. Commercial Service. They have domestic and internatinoal trade specialists that add value not many other consultants can offer. So simply put, how has Telewave been so successful? The company has thought positively about the future and along with that have been persistent in trying to sell their products. They have always followed up on potential distributers or customers. They've kept in personal contact with potential business partners in international locations. Finally they have studied the markets, and in turn have looked for new opportunities abroad and at home.

How can you connect with other markets? Using your country's trade services will always help. You should look at your core competencies and consider what markets would give you a competitive advantage in areas such as trade or products. It is very important to know where to find financing and how you are going to finance your operations. There are many banks specifically set up to help finance exporters and importers. All of this advice will set you well on your way to great business success. Just remember to keep that positive attitude especially in the toughest of times!

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