Please take a look at the list of the following indicators that I have found useful in determining when my company is in the presence of a Homestead Rep Contract (LOP/LOP) opportunity with a US principal. The principal has a jaw-dropping, patented, CE marked, FDA cleared, clinically studied and/or one of a kind, technology or service but:

  1. The principal has no (“zero”) dollars to put towards it’s own international promotion and market development campaign
  2. The principal has zero funds to pay the rep for the international market development
  3. The principal has zero funds to even pay for domestic, let alone international, lodging and food in connection with the pioneering rep’s services
  4. The principal has zero funds to pay for a rep’s bus ticket to Baja, let alone put him on a Boeing to Beijing
  5. The principal has extremely limited funds to even pay for international conference calls or coop ads with foreign distributors
  6. The principal has limited experience in the dynamics of international trade and usually is unresponsive to new foreign inquiries that come in over the internet or from trade shows
  7. The principal, skeletally staffed and overwhelmed by trying to stay afloat in the US domestic market, can be unresponsive to time-sensitive e-mails and phone calls from existing, let alone emerging, foreign customers
  8. The principal has a bare bones, internal staff skilled in engineering, design and domestic marketing but not in international promotion and marketing, international financial instruments, international regulatory or documentation requirements or international logistics requirements
  9. The principal’s product category is so new and unusual that overseas buyers, government regulators and/or Customs officials can many times insist on original, or additional, indigenous clinical studies thereby essentially discounting the value of the original clinical studies done in the USA.
  10. The start-up is traditionally more dependent and focused on raising new or additional funds instead of putting in place some of the infrastructure needed to generate internationally derived revenue from the exportation of their products or services
  11. The principal is willing to submit to, and reflect on, what the Gartner Hype Cycle tells them about what bombast they will have to surmount, traverse and discard
  12. The principal has exported on a spot basis but still has not been able to access large swaths of foreign markets or foreign market segments
  13. The principal’s accounting department is, or could be, as the gag goes, doubling as the US SME’s ethical compliance department
  14. The principal is already, or about to become, an associate member of a professional rep association
  15. The principal’s extension of its skus is a work in progress
  16. The principal’s obtainment of licenses, international marks and necessary test data/clinicals is a work in progress
  17. The principal’s full commercialization of the product line is a work in progress
  18. The principal considers manufacturing capacity to be commensurate with “Export-Readiness” and “Rep-Readiness”
  19. The principal is aware and humble enough to accept the fact that it doesn’t know what it doesn’t know about efficiently and systematically accessing international markets and how to competently engage with hybrid, professional, international reps
  20. The principal is willing to go through the ERRRQ