Carbon County again has one of their own highlighted for their hard work. On March 8, Colleen Loveless was asked to sit on a panel for the International Women’s Day Celebration at the Women’s Business Resource Center, Salt Lake City Chamber.
There were a total of five women on the panel; two women own businesses that export products internationally, one woman that consults with businesses internationally and two women that support Utah companies in their export businesses.
Colleen shared the history of her company and how they started exporting with a few growing pains. It has been a process to learn the different regulations to export and also the regulations of different countries. Colleen stated that in the beginning, they did not actively seek opportunities to export but international companies approached Love-Less Ash to start purchasing their products, which lead Love-Less Ash to look at exporting opportunities and making international business relationships.
Currently at Love-Less Ash, 20% of their business comes from international exporting. LoveLess Ash exports to Canada, Brazil, Japan, Denmark, Philippines, Australia and the United Kingdom. They are now looking to expand into nine other countries.
A few “Pitfalls” of exporting are:
- Moving too quickly
- Not taking the time to vet partners first and getting involved with the wrong partners
- Not being prepared and understanding the country regulations prior to going into the country
- Not knowing gaps and holes – understanding each process
- Knowing if the company is ready to grow – family business verses corporate business
- Not setting goals and/or not being flexible to changing goals to adapt to new situations.
- Not being ready to produce product quickly
- Taking negative comments/complaints personally
A few “Best Practices” are:
- Don’t limit yourselves
- Be nimble – willing to respond at a moment’s notice
- Learn the country’s culture
- Create relationships with the people. Build trust, don’t be afraid to visit with the local people and communicate with them.
- Know your limits. Don’t make promises you can’t meet and don’t hold back. Challenge yourself.
- Don’t let your emotions cloud your decisions
- Measure every step
- Take one step at a time – don’t move to fast.
- Have positive actions
Panelists include the following:
- Colleen Loveless, Founder of Love-Less Ash Company
- Julianna Christie, Founder of Gray Matter Consulting
- Liz Kennard Butcher, Founder and Director of Butcher’s Bunches
- Ariel Briggs, STEP Program Director at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development
- Shelby Peterson, Acting Director of the Utah Export Assistance Center U.S. Commercial Service