Qibus ea diae volor sequas de dolo velibusciis sitia ditio. Tio. Itat raes doluptatur, suntinvenis modis doluptate ma- nis expla exere, sum nos con re voluptia cusam, quostrup- tas ipis modi apid STATE STATISTIC ON TRADE SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA POP. 1.35 MILLION While the Internet and social media play an important role in sharing feedback of existing customers and growing the customer base, the personal interaction remains vital. Deering Banjo has mastered the balance between online service platforms with offline care. “You can’t be all electronic. You have to have that warm and fuzzy voice on the phone that actually speaks to customers when they call,” says Janet. Having found success internationally,the Deering Banjo team seeks to continue developing overseas markets. With a new distributor in China and a recent trip to India, they are eager to share their beautifully crafted banjos with new customers in fast-growing markets for American exports. Deering Banjo faces several challenges with overseas markets. Shipping costs and tariffs tend to be high for banjos, and Latty explains that the company has to keep a close eye on exchange rates and other factors that could impact sales. Another challenge has been complying with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) regulation, a well-intentioned regulation pertaining to wood culled from endangered species, including rosewood, which the company had used to make banjos. Since the regulation called for extensive documentation on all instruments shipped internationally that contain any amount of rosewood, Deering Banjo discontinued the use of rosewood scraps and turned to alternative materials, which means that those scraps are no longer put to good use by the company. For SMEs looking to engage in global markets, Greg stresses the importance of understanding a given market during the early stages of your growth: “We were very fortunate very early on in our company to understand how to make sure you get paid when you export to different countries that have laws that make it impossible to collect a bad debt.” Latty adds that it is also important to know what is out there – for instance they just recently discovered EXIM Bank, despite being in business for over forty years. “It is a hugely valuable resource that we were working on implementing. We wouldn’t have known it existed had we not found out about it from the World Trade Center. There are definitely programs that could be a very easy fit to help [small businesses and startups] make the global reach a little less daunting.” While they have not yet worked extensively with government organizations, Greg noted that the Commerce Department has reached out to Deering Banjo and shared different avenues of resources to provide assistance in growing internationally, including U.S. embassies abroad for instance. Greg adds,“the world is more accessible now than it ever has been, sometimes its just not being afraid to reach for the business. Our philosophy is: when an opportunity presents itself, we don’t say no – we grab ahold of it.” “THE WORLD IS MORE ACCESSIBLE NOW THAN IT EVER HAS BEEN... OUR PHILOSOPHY IS: WHEN AN OPPORTUNITY PRESENTS ITSELF, WE DON’T SAY NO – WE GRAB AHOLD OF IT.” More than 700,000 U.S. jobs supported by goods exports from California in 2015 11 The New Faces of American Trade