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What would we wear when just hanging out if it weren't for great t-shirts? How would we remember the cool places we've been and the great concerts we've seen?

I'm not in the t-shirt business, just a true believer in them as an essential article of clothing. My business is actually international business planning -- I did notice a few posts about people trying to figure out how to take their t-shirt business international. Maybe I can share a few insights on that topic while I get to learn about some new must have t-shirt designs.
 

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global_guy said:
What would we wear when just hanging out if it weren't for great t-shirts? How would we remember the cool places we've been and the great concerts we've seen?

I'm not in the t-shirt business, just a true believer in them as an essential article of clothing. My business is actually international business planning -- I did notice a few posts about people trying to figure out how to take their t-shirt business international. Maybe I can share a few insights on that topic while I get to learn about some new must have t-shirt designs.
Global Guy, I think my shirts might do really well in the UK and possibly Tokyo. Are there websites that provide a list of international retail stores? Are there reps that I could hire to do my international or even national sales. I am interested in your insights on the subject.

Thanks
 

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I was just in Tokyo again in October -- the only thing they like more than American style t-shirts is text messaging and the ubiquitous white earbuds.

There are a number of ways you could go. One of the best sources of this type of info is an industry trade show. They almost always provide the list of exhibitors on their website, so if you review that list, you can get the names of some of the key players. It would probably also behoove you to go to a trade show and do some networking yourself. I notice that there are, for example, Imprinted Sprotswear Shows in differenet cities around the country so you might be able to find one that you could get to without a lot of travel expenses. Buy a day pass and go to the show. My experience is that there are frequently some international associations present who may have some useful information.

Having said that, the key is still to make the personal connections in the UK or Tokyo or wherever, which obviously is much harder. I think that the t-shirt biz would work well with an independent sales agent who already has contacts with some of the right retailers and would only get paid a commission on sales actually made -- so a relatively low risk alternative.

I suggest you locate your nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) office -- this is an arm of the department of commerce dedicated to helping small US businesses in exporting. The Small Business Adminsitration also frequently has a staff person devoted to export assistance. You should be able to set up an intial meeting for free and they can give you some guidance on how best to begin to make some contacts.

Also frequently states have offices of international trade which employ people dedicated to helping businesses in the state with international business development. One resource that they may provide is what's called a "catalogue show" which is sort of a traveling trade show where you dont need to invest in a booth. Instead, someone from the state will present a catalogue of your merchandise to interested potential business partners from a particular country or region.

Some of what might make the most sense for you starting out depends on where you are located -- how close to some of these and other available resources.

Obviously there is a lot to this (which if course is why I'm able to make a business out of helping buisinesses with export market entry planning). I think its important to respect the rules of a board like this on posting URL's and the like -- so hopefully the above guidance, although general, is helpful and can get you started down the right road. If you would like to explore some more specific info, perhaps you could send me a privatye e-mail.

Good luck -- there are a lot of great martket opportunities out there beyond our shore.
 

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I was referring to your fine simian self more than anything.


But yes, I suppose if hair could cause blindness I'd be in the kingdom of the blind (but with two eyes! :))
 
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