“The keyword of today is benchmark,” said Huston, E-Magnify director. “It is about setting industry standards, being ready and on top of your game. As a small business owner you have to think differently and know that things are always changing.” She said that the events of the day would be enlightening and focused on customers, cash flow and certification. Topics included: accessing capital, international trade, Pennsylvania State Certification and the Affordable Care Act.
With Women Business Centers in every state and Puerto Rico, President Obama’s commitment and support to helping small businesses is demonstrated through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. Harvey pointed out that Women’s Business Center programs are geared toward promoting the growth of women-owned businesses through programs that provide business training and counseling, access to credit and capital, and multiple businesses and networking opportunities.
“It is about producing, high performance, being prepared and knowing what you bring to the table,” Harvey conveyed.
Speaking from her experience of operating a multilingual communications company she said, “Others often see your potential and qualifications before you. It is important for you to look at the opportunities that are out there, know what is ahead and what is best for you.”
Adding a D and E to the three Cs the SBA are known for, (contracts, counseling and capital) Harvey mentioned the disaster assistance program and the export loan programs. “Women business owners have to be prepared for disasters of all types and they have to be aware that opportunities are worldwide. We are a global economy,” she said.
Ninety-seven percent of the world’s purchasing power is outside of the United States, reported Doverspike. Addressing the question, why export, she said, if you operate an exporting company you are less likely to go out of business. She indicated that Pennsylvania ranked eleventh in total state exports for 2011 with the top ten exporting destinations being Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Brazil, Belgium and South Korea. The state’s top exporting industries are chemicals, machinery, except electrical, primary metal manufacturing, computers and electronic products, transportation equipment, minerals and ores, electrical equipment, appliances and components, petroleum and coal products, food manufacturers and fabricated metal products.
Sighting that exporting enables companies to diversify their portfolios and to weather changes in the domestic economy, she pointed out that being a strong domestic business is the basic qualification for most small to medium size businesses to export.