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Going The Distance

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

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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 accessories company inFoster City, California, lacked the necessary market share in theUnited States to keep the afloat. Determined to persevere,the then-22-year-old entrepreneur resolved to dive into foreignwaters with the help of partner Jim Youngblood. After revamping thepreliminary business plan Gush had drafted in college, the partnersturned the company into an export business. A smart move: Today,Cetacea brings in just under $2 million selling to divingenthusiasts worldwide.

Cetacea's tale of survival parallels that of many oftoday's small businesses. More than ever, entrepreneursnationwide are witnessing the of the businesslandscape--and are taking part in the revolution. "As we moveinto the 21st century, business will become moreinternationalized," says Michael Zey, professor of managementat Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey."Your source of labor will be international; your source offinancial support will be international; your market will beinternational. Most companies now realize they cannot live by thedomestic market alone."

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