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Going The Distance

Mapping out plans for international expansion? Let us show you the way.

This story appears in the May 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Ten years ago, Clayton Gush came to a serious realization. Cetacea Corp., his newly formed scuba diving accessories company in Foster City, California, lacked the necessary market share in the United States to keep the business afloat. Determined to persevere, the then-22-year-old entrepreneur resolved to dive into foreign waters with the help of partner Jim Youngblood. After revamping the preliminary business plan Gush had drafted in college, the partners turned the company into an export business. A smart move: Today, Cetacea brings in just under $2 million selling to diving enthusiasts worldwide.

Cetacea's tale of survival parallels that of many of today's small businesses. More than ever, entrepreneurs nationwide are witnessing the globalization of the business landscape--and are taking part in the revolution. "As we move into the 21st century, business will become more internationalized," says Michael Zey, professor of management at Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. "Your source of labor will be international; your source of financial support will be international; your market will be international. Most companies now realize they cannot live by the domestic market alone."

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