Doing Europe

The Next Half

Day Three
Left at 8 a.m. for a meeting at a truck repair plant. "We discussed exporting several different types of products," says Karen, "and left with an opportunity to bid on merchandise."

Then came a last-minute meeting to discuss the couple's water purification system. "We met with the father-and-son owners of a 125-employee company," Karen notes. "We didn't have samples, but we did have literature."

Then the Hamiltons attended a reception at the home of the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands.

Day Four (side trip)
The group took the train to Paris, while the Hamiltons flew to Frankfurt, Germany, for meetings with customers, buyers and finance officers.

Day Five
Up at 4 a.m. for Karen's flight to Paris and Gary's trip to another location in Germany to sign a new business contract. While in Paris, Karen met with U.S. officials and several potential customers. Plus, the editor of Femme d'Entreprise magazine interviewed Karen for an article on the group.

Day Six
Karen and the other woman entrepreneurs had lunch at the home of the U.S. ambassador to France. Then back to the hotel for a coveted rest.

Day Seven
Up at 6 a.m. and to the consulate for truck- and auto-parts sales meetings, from which the Hamiltons obtained another bidding opportunity. A private lunch at the U.S. Embassy followed, and this event ended the business portion of the mission.

Worth The Cost?
"We'll garner about $100,000 in business from the mission this year and about $1.5 million within the next 18 months," Karen guesses. "This isn't an easy way to make money, but if you're professional in business, it's another way to find customers."


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This article was originally published in the November 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Doing Europe.

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