In the article “Novel Ways To Solve Exporting Riddles For Small Businesses” it says that about two-thirds of small businesses that don’t export goods or services would like to start. Why do so many of these businesses say they "don't know where to start?"
There are at least two main reasons why small businesses would “not know where to start” if they want to export. One reason has to do with the nature of exporting. The other has to do with the knowledge base of the small business.
While it may seem like exporting would be a relatively easy thing to do, this is not so. There are many difficulties involved. A small business would first need to find customers in foreign countries. This is not easy because the business would have to become familiar with the foreign market. It would have to determine if there was demand for its product. It would have to find firms that would be good customers. All of this is hard to do. The small business would then need to navigate the process of shipping and billing the goods. It would have to find shipping arrangements. It would have to set up a process of billing the foreign companies that would protect it from the risks that are inherent in dealing with companies in foreign countries. None of this is easy.
The difficulty is compounded by the nature of most small businesses. Most small businesses do not have the sort of expert staff who would be able to understand the exporting process. They are often run by people who do not have any knowledge of the exporting process and are not big enough to hire someone who has that knowledge.
Thus, small businesses do not “know where to start” because the exporting process is complicated and the firms lack the knowledge to navigate that process.