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Know when your business is ready to export

(NC) Are you thinking of exporting your product or service? Make sure you have the right exporting plan in place first.

Start by asking yourself the following:

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.

Ask yourself whether you have the resources to research and target your market. Have you researched that market, to learn whether your product can compete?

If you were to find a buyer, could you obtain enough capital or lines of credit to produce the product or service, and ship it overseas in a reasonable timeframe?

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 Canada Business Ontario at 1-888-576-4444, 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.

Canada Business Ontario provides free government information for small businesses in Ontario. Visit canadabusiness.gc.ca to find out more.

Canada Business Ontario is a program within the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). For further information on federal economic development programs and services for southern Ontario please visit, FedDevOntario.gc.ca, or contact us by email at info@FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call toll free, 1-866-593-5505.

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