Know when your business is ready to export
(NC)—Thinking of exporting your product or service? Your export plan doesn't begin with the right product, it begins with what your company has right now.
First: does your company have the capacity to handle the extra demand exporting will entail? Before you develop relationships with overseas buyers, your company should have a developed, systematic means of responding to customer inquiries here at home. You'll also need culturally-sensitive marketing skills, and ways of handling language barriers and different monetary systems.
Do you have the resources to research and target your specified market? Have you researched that market, to learn whether your product can compete?
If you found a buyer, could you obtain enough capital or lines of credit to produce the product or service, and ship it overseas in a reasonable time?
If you've never exported before, be sure to find advisors, to learn the legal and tax implications of exporting. If you are active in an industrial, scientific, literary or artistic field, you'll also want to consult with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office of Industry Canada.
Exporting can be complex, but there are many government services to help you along the way. By calling the Business Info Line (1-888-745-8888), you'll reach specially trained business information officers ready to answer questions in English or French, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST.
The Business Info Line provides free government information for small business in Ontario. Visit canadabusiness.gc.ca to find out more.
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