Did you know that small and medium-sized businesses account for 38% of the total value of goods exported from BC? In 2010, this amounted to $29.3 billion of merchandise.
As Canada's only province that borders the Pacific Ocean, BC is strategically placed to be the global hub for trade between Asia, Europe and North America. And the trade market is only set to get bigger; with container traffic forecasted to quadruple by 2020 across all west coast ports.
This is the first question most small businesses ask, and it is a valid question given the costs, time and commitment required to be successful internationally. But the benefits of exporting can be substantial.
- Increase your sales and revenue.
There are many rapidly growing economies in the world that are ready to buy your goods and services, and therefore expand your revenue.
- Increase your ability to compete domestically.
The experience you will gain of working in different markets, such as an increased awareness of other products and services and exposure of new ways to market, will enhance your business.
- Diversify your markets.
You will no longer be dependent on any one market for your success. By using your domestic sales to cover the fixed costs of exporting you can also increase your profitability. For example, if you have excess capacity domestically, international markets can use that capacity, to lower your per unit costs; therefore helping your bottom line.
And the good news is if your business is succeeding at home, there's a good chance it will have appeal abroad.
Where to Find Help
With the support of the Province and the Government of Canada, Small Business BC launched the new TRADESTART program to help provide small businesses with the tools and resources necessary to access new export markets.
The program offers specialized seminars and advisory services that can help you understand the advanced export essentials:
- Market viability and entry
- Export strategy
- Selling to foreign markets
- Rules and Regulations
- Building International Relationships
The program will also work with industry associations, community organizations, municipalities and educational institutions to deliver workshops and training throughout BC. If your organization is interested in working with the TRADESTART team, contact them on 1.866.926.5545 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit: www.tradestart.ca