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A Local Export Concierge Success Story

Born and raised in Kansas City Walter “Spiceman” Lester has been creating in the kitchen as long as he can remember.
A career chef, he wants to share his unique blend of spices with the world. Through the assistance of our Export Concierge program we’ve been able to connect Walter with the resources and knowledge he needs to achieve export success.

KC Rising: GoGlobalKC - Spiceman, Walter Lester from KC Rising on Vimeo.

Introducing Doodlekit, 2016 International Small Business of the Year

Doodlekit was named the International Small Business of the Year at the 2016 KC Chamber Small Business Celebration. Doodlekit is a free website builder that allows small businesses and everyday people to make websites online without knowing how to code. Founded in 2006 by Heath Huffman and Ben Kittrell, Doodlekit is looking forward to more international success in its second decade. We sat down with co-founder Ben Kittrell and his intern, Brendan, at the think BIG Coworking space, to learn more about Doodlekit’s success in international trade. The gentlemen of Doodlekit were kind enough to offer 5 tips to their international success:
Consider international from the start
In the world of tech, the industry evolves quickly and the newest innovations can quickly be yesterday’s ideas. That’s why it’s important to consider international opportunities from the start. Diversification of customers helps protect your product and ensure forward thinking business practices.

Differentiate yourself through unique perspective
Creating competitive advantage is all about what you do differently. At Doodlekit, a key difference from competitors is their intentional international focus. By making business decisions through a global lens Doodlekit thinks outside the box and remains at the forefront of the website design industry.

Deliver real value
A key to Doodlekit’s success has been the simplicity of their product. By selling a service that is largely DIY, Doodlekit removes cultural and language barriers and allows the customers to help themselves. Dealing with physical goods brings more regulation and bureaucracy; Doodlekit has remained a lean and nimble organization by focusing on what they do best: providing an easy to use website kit for the customer.

Legal advice is a necessity
With risk comes reward. To hedge against risk in the international marketplace, Doodlekit highly recommends seeking legal advice for those venturing overseas for the first time. International business can be intimidating, and legal advice can help to ease your concerns and allow you to focus on your product.

Understand your market
Doodlekit understood that their international audience didn’t have the same needs as their domestic customers. To maximize the value of their product Doodlekit scaled down the customization features of their website package and enhanced the easy-to-use features. Through the use of “iconography” and reducing language in instruction Doodlekit has been able to seamlessly transfer their U.S. designed product to customers in 189 countries worldwide.

World Trade Center Kansas City serves domestic and international companies within the Kansas City region. We offer a variety of workshops, seminars, networking events, and internships. We also support international business education and training needs of the region. The WTC conducts research to identify markets and partners. Our tools can help you identify new markets, potential distributors and partners to facilitate business growth.

World Trade Center Kansas City is a partnership between the Greater Kansas City Chamber of CommerceKC SmartPort and  Kansas City Area Development Council; three organizations well versed in the critical importance of improving our region’s competitiveness in the global economy.

Export Plan

Export Plan Video

  • Kansas City will be represented in the Global Cities Initiative Exchange by a team of local leaders including World Trade Center Kansas City and its partners.
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  • World Trade Center Kansas City can provide you with critical data to maximize your opportunities and ensure strategic industry decisions. Customized research is never more than a phone call away.
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  • eCertify allows users to process electronic Certificates of Origin from their desktops – saving time and money, while increasing compliance and productivity. World Trade Center Kansas City is the #1 ranked U.S. processor of electronic Certificates of Origin.
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