AUDIO: Small business finds added success through exporting
March 20, 2012
• Saddleback Publishing expands despite recession, government cutbacks
• ‘Everything presents an opportunity, even tight economic times’
For Los Angeles-area book publisher Saddleback Publishing, owned by Tim and Arianne McHugh, innovation and exporting have been the keys to prospering despite the Great Recession.
At the depths of the recession, in 2009 when loans were hard to come by and small businesses were plummeting faster than ENRON, the McHughs qualified for an SBA loan and purchased Saddleback Publishing from Arianne’s father, Thomas Milano, who started the company in his Huntington Beach garage in 1982.
But since then they’ve expanded, in part by developing their exporting skills. One key to that, says Mr. McHugh is simple, diligent, networking.
But there’s another and it comes from Washington.
“We’ve worked with the Foreign Commercial Service … and their whole goal is to help get U.S. goods exported overseas,” says Mr. McHugh.
He says they also market by going to industry conferences and haven’t hesitated to head to other countries for them. “The largest book fair in the world is in Frankfurt, Germany,” he says. “We go there and meet with buyers and publishers and distributors. We’ve sold books from Abu Dhabi to South Africa to Australia to Beijing.”
(Tim McHugh talks about growing a small business and how to get started in exporting in today’s exclusive CVBT Audio Interview. Please left-click on the link below to listen now or right-click on the link to download the MP3 audio file for later listening.)
The U.S. Commercial Service, part of the Department of Commerce, promotes the export of United States goods and services.
The L.A. Chamber of Commerce recently named the McHugh’s business its Export Achievement Award-winner of the Year.
“Everything presents an opportunity, even tight economic times,” says Arianne McHugh. “If you carefully examine your industry and adjust your offerings to reflect the greatest need for restrictive budgets, you will succeed. Conversely, running with the ‘same old, same old’ when the times have changed will often lead to failure.”