If you're a small- to medium-sized business with a potential market for your product abroad, you may profit from making a move into exporting.
Your first reaction may be "Me, an exporter?" but it isn't as farfetched as you may think.
Even if your company is relatively small, there may be a market for your product or service outside of Canada.
In fact, 90 per cent of Canadian exporters have annual export sales of less than $1 million. What's important is having the right product or service, a commitment to succeed, and a sound strategy.
The best export strategies are built on the foundation of an up-to-date and comprehensive business plan. If yours isn't as current as it should be, you might consider refining it with the help of the resources offered by BusinessGateway.ca. Located at www.businessgateway.ca
, this website provides lots of free tips, advice and tools, all related to starting, running and developing your business.
Take your business plan, for example. It should enable you to:
Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your company;
Establish your objectives and strategies, and analyse your company's performance with respect to them;
Determine your cash needs so you can approach banks and investors with confidence; and
Communicate your intentions to employees and investors.
If your plan falls short in any of these areas, check out the free interactive Business Planner, located in the Tools section of the site. It covers everything your plan will need, including:
Identifying the types of information required in your plan;
Locating information on basics such as marketing and costing; and
Preparing financial projections for your business.
Once you're satisfied with your business plan, you can return to the Tools section and use the interactive Export Planner. It's similar to the Business Planner, but also covers issues such as:
Adapting your products or services to a foreign market;
Getting an overview of the targeted export market;
Creating a market entry strategy and an export implementation plan; and
Preparing financial plans related to the targeted export market.
And don't forget to use the Exporting link on the BusinessGateway.ca home page. It will point you to other essential sources of information that can help your company find business opportunities around the world. Once you take the leap, you may discover that export success is a lot closer than you ever imagined!
-- News Canada
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