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Export Now: Five Keys to Entering New Markets Hardcover – September 13, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Even the best businesses sometimes find themselves in a difficult situation when it comes to exporting. For most firms, it is a new area involving a set of complicated challenges, including language, tariffs, and the toughest challenge of all: how to track down new customers. Many companies see more work and less benefit in an export market rather than the home market. In other words, why bother?


Export Now explains in clear business language the steps you can take to compete and win in exports. Frank Lavin and Peter Cohan apply their decades of expertise in helping companies to break down the task into manageable components. Export Now is a step-by-step guide to tackling the international marketplace. The core messages of the book: (1) It is easier than you think; (2) you do need a plan. The authors offer you the tools to devise your own plan in Export Now.


This book boils down the challenge into the "Five Cs" of exporting:


  • Country: How to pick the right one.
  • Customers: How they differ in new markets.
  • Competitors: What to look for when you are away from your home market.
  • Capabilities: What you need to win.
  • Capability Gap: How to close it.


In Export Now you will learn the secrets of exporting from case studies including:

  • Brewdog, the Scottish micro-brewery that used blogs to break into a new market.
  • Legacy, a German company with superior products but the wrong export strategy.
  • Eno, a Chinese youth clothing retailer started by two Americans, that succeeded by letting its Chinese designers pick popular styles.


Export Now draws on over twenty case studies based on the authors' work helping thousands of SMEs that ventured into new markets. The cases outline their successes, failures, and avoidable mistakes. Read this book to stay in the first category and out of the last two.  


From the Back Cover

"Export or die!" might be the well-deserved title of this book. Foreign competitors are coming into your market. You need to start selling to their markets. Your market isn't going to grow as fast as other markets in the world. This book is the best coach that I know to bring you into profitable exporting.


Philip Kotler S. C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University



Export Now is an indispensable guide to the often complex maze of exporting. Highly recommended.


Thomas J. Donohue President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce



In today's growing and competitive global marketplace, exporting is critical for manufacturers and businesses of all sizes. Often companies don't think they have the tools or resources to become major exporters. Export Now lays out the simple steps to take which will allow small and large companies to become efficient exporters and reach new markets and customers all over the world.


Jay Timmons President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers



If you are in a small business or new to exporting, Export Now is the book for you. In straight-forward business language, Frank Lavin and Peter Cohan spell out how businesses can get into the export world. At the Commerce Department, I saw many fine small businesses which had products that could appeal to consumers around the world, but these firms lacked the know-how to enter new markets. With practical case studies as well as sound concepts and techniques, Export Now will offer these businesses the way forward in exporting.


Carlos Gutierrez Former CEO Kellogg's and U.S. Secretary of Commerce (2005-2009)



In Hong Kong and across Asia we see dynamic small companies that are poised for growth, but many of their home markets are relatively small. Unless these companies can master the art of exporting, they risk being trapped. Export Now explains how to escape the limitations of the home market and shows how even smallish companies can be successful in the turbulent world of exporting.


Alex Fong CEO, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce




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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470828161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470828168
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,104,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Frank Lavin is the Chairman and CEO of Export Now (Exportnow.com), a company that helps other firms sell into China through the largest B2C e-commerce platform in the world, TMall.com

In Government, Lavin served as Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce 2005-2007. In that capacity, Lavin served as lead trade negotiator for both China and India and was the senior policy official in the Department responsible for commercial policy, export promotion, and trade negotiations across the globe. Lavin was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore from 2001-05, where his duties included helping negotiate the landmark U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

In the private sector, Lavin served in senior finance and management positions in Hong Kong and Singapore with Cushman & Wakefield Investors Asia, Bank of America, and Citibank.

Earlier in his career, Lavin served in the George H.W. Bush and Reagan Administrations, working in the Department of Commerce, Department of State, National Security Council, and White House. Lavin served as Director of the Office of Political Affairs in the White House 1987-89.

Lavin earned a B.S. from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University; a M.S. in Chinese Language from Georgetown University; a M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University; and a M.B.A. in Finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

He has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and other periodicals.

Lavin is the co-author of "Export Now" (2011), a featured title of John Wiley & Sons. He was Editor of "Rising to the Challenge" (EDM 2010), the official book of the USA Pavilion at the Shanghai 2010 Expo.

Lavin currently serves on the Board of Directors of Globe Specialty Metals, the world's largest producer of silicon metal alloys, Consistel, the largest telecommunications firm for in-building services in Southeast Asia, UOB Bank a Singapore-based regional bank, and UTEX, a Houston-based energy services firm. He also served as Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo USA Pavilion.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As someone who has worked with Ambassador Lavin, I can attest to his knowledge about emerging markets as well as his "big picture" view of what companies should and should not do to be successful. He possesses a tremendous amount of experience and ably balances that with his perspective on the rapid changes that mark China and Asia. If you want to learn something and get expert counsel for your company, read this book. Lavin knows his stuff.
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Format: Hardcover
In the 21st century, American companies must go global or perish. While the strategy is clear, often the tactics are not. This book fixes that problem. Lavin and Cohan offer a succinct guide for busy executives to tap into the soaring purchasing power of global consumers, especially in the fast-growing emerging markets, and to align business resources behind the plan to go global. You'll come away thinking -- I can do this!
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Format: Hardcover
Lavin and Cohan offer an accessible framework for thinking about geographic expansion as well as nuanced checklists that are helpful tools for any investor. All of this is provided from the vantage point of extremely credible authors. Lavin, for example, spent years as a US Ambassador to Singapore at the time of the negotiation of the landmark US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, and went on to serve as Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. This is an author who "gets it" on FDI.

Beyond the comprehensiveness and utility offered by these insider viewpoints, Export Now is distinguished by its relevance to today. In my undergraduate and now graduate studies in business and government, I've read the existing literature on FDI and most of it is dated in its focus on North to South investment. This book, however, covers emerging models. It evaluates case studies of Japanese firms serving low-marging, high-volume customer bases in India's lower/middle class, as well as those of Indian firms able to achieve cost advantages while maintaining quality assurances required to serve the US market. The book has its pulse on FDI patters of today and tomorrow, not of yesterday.

Having spent several years as a strategy consultant in North America, Southeast Asia and Africa, I worked primarily on geographic expansion for corporates, economic policy for governments, and foreign investment negotiations between the two. I think this book is an on-the-mark, relevant read with returns for all audiences - corporates, policymakers and strategic advisors alike.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ambassador Lavin and his collaborator establish clearly, convincingly and passionately how exporting is the path through a stagnant, even hostile, economic environment. They reveal that nearly every business today has potential for the creation of international markets, a path once only available to a elite few. Every business has a DNA that can be "best in the world," if properly enabled, and this book is a guide to how, once you've identified your so-called "hedgehog," you put it on the world stage. This long-serving member of the U.S. foreign service has done an even greater service to his country by telling all us how to reap reward and opportunity in a world hungry for our products, services and ideas.

Rick Segal
President Worldwide
Chief Practice Officer

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Format: Hardcover
Lavin gives us his many years of experience in China in this well thought-out, easy to read book. I have recommended it to both a small business owner that has their first shipment on the water as well as to old friend who runs a $100 million business remotely in China. I'm sure even the Fortune 500 could benefit.
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