Is Your Company Ready to Export – 7 Steps to Exporting Successfully

The opportunities for Canadian companies in export markets are vast and growing. For both small and large businesses, globalization and the dismantling of trade barriers are opening new markets around the world and creating ever-expanding opportunities for Canadian exporters.

There are many reasons your company should consider exporting:
– Increased sales
– Higher profits
– Economies of scale
– Market diversification
– Increased competitiveness

However, along with opportunities, exporting also brings its own challenges. Even if your company is successful in the domestic market, the decision to export should be considered carefully. We have compiled a list of a number of factors to consider to successfully meet the export challenge and profit from world markets.

1. Is Your Company Ready to Export
The first step is to determine whether exporting makes sense for your company, and in order to do this you need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your business in your home market.

Generally speaking, successful exporters begin with an established customer base in their home market. They have reliable production capabilities, excellent reputations for quality, and products that are in demand domestically and, therefore, potentially in international markets.

2. Exporting Demands a Major Commitment
One thing that all successful exporters agree upon is the need for aspiring exporters to make a serious, long-term commitment to developing their presence international markets. Exporting is not just a stop-gap for a slow domestic market. You should commit enough resources to support a two-year development strategy. Three years would be better. One is the absolute minimum

3. Evaluate Your Company’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Any company thinking about exporting should assess its strengths and weaknesses. Exporting will involve every aspect of your business. Analyze your current capacity in key areas and see how they could contribute to export success or how they need to be strengthened.

4. Your Current market Position
It is imperative that you assess your company’s position in your domestic market. Are foreign markets necessary for your company’s growth? What is your scope for expansion? Is your senior management prepared to have departments work together to support an export initiative? Is your company prepared to make a long term commitment of money and people to develop export markets?

5. People Resources
Do your senior executives, marketing and technical staff understand how to do business in foreign markets and are they prepared to spend days – even weeks – away from the office and home? Do your professional/technical staff have the necessary certifications in the foreign market? Will professional staff need to be licensed locally? Do you have access to additional qualified labour? Do you have support staff capable of speaking the relevant foreign languages?

6. Financial Resources
Do you have funds available for foreign market development? Do you have enough financial resources to manage professional fee withholds (if applicable)? Are you financially equipped to increase production significantly? Is your product suited for export? Can it be adapted easily to meet different cultural preferences?

7. Always Do You Homework
Exporting is a complex business venture that has its own terminology, networks, institutions and regulatory paperwork. There is a lot for a new exporter to learn.

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