As the business world goes global, CPAs are advising clients more frequently on how to take advantage of opportunities to market their products and services abroad. Here are some steps a company should take before entering the international market.
CONDUCT PRELIMINARY MARKET RESEARCH
 Obtain information about foreign markets from the U.S. Commerce Department's National Trade Data Bank.
 Get a list of potential foreign buyers from sources such as Export Yellow Pages, Commercial News USA, National Export Offer Service, Trade Compass and the Internet.
 Prepare a market factor assessment of the economic, physical, demographic, social and cultural conditions in various areas, and look at market access and product or service potential.
 Contact the U.S. Census Bureau for information and services it provides.
 Explore options for promoting the product or service on the Internet.
 Do some research on the World Trade Organization and on trading agreements.
 Learn about the provisions of the North American Foreign Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
PLAN THE MARKET ENTRY
 Prepare a broad-based international business plan.
 Choose a market to target.
 Obtain phone books for the targeted market.
 Study the business etiquette of the targeted region (manners, socializing, gifts and the acceptance of women in business).
 Plan travel to the targeted area through a travel agency with knowledge of the region.
 Brush up on necessary foreign language skills.
 Obtain the required visas and travel documents.
 Select a trade show to introduce the product or services using the U.S. Department of Commerce, Gale Research's Trade Show Worldwide or the Expo Guide Index.
 Get ready for the trade show by preparing a budget, designing the demonstration booth and program, preparing price quotes, scheduling personnel, making travel arrangements and getting custom clearances.
ARRANGE FOR DISTRIBUTION
 Assess whether the most cost-effective and efficient...