Written By: Dana Fox, Director, Global Business Development, Athena Software

The Canadian government is focused on creating jobs by exporting Canadian goods and services. Canadian businesses have unprecedented access to new markets through free trade agreements. Support organizations across Canada offer small and medium sized businesses knowledge and funding as a catalyst to explore export opportunities. Yet the majority of small businesses across Canada continue to consider only Canada and United States as their main source of revenue.

The mission of this article is simply this – help businesses determine whether they qualify as export ready.

Every small medium enterprise (SME) defines the market they compete in for clients and revenue. Four percent of SME’s in Canada export outside of Canada. One percent of all SME’s in Canada choose to export outside of North America. SME’s often consider domestic markets as their only source of revenue. Export markets were not considered when the product and service were designed. International markets are usually not considered until domestic markets are fully exploited and revenue begins to plateau. By then the need for incremental sales is great and the ability to shift the product and servce is expensive and time consuming.

You can get Export Ready in less than 90 days with a carefully crafted strategy. I created a Playbook for SME’s planning to get export ready. The Playbook is designed for SME’s that have sixty seconds to cover a chapter and it documents all of the shortcuts you need to grow and export your business, working with multiple levels of government.

Export ready SME’s using this plan will be able to identify sales opportunities and work with proven marketing strategies to make the right choice at the right time. A 90 day action plan is used to establish export opportunities and increase revenue through the sale of goods and services.

Global economics make it impossible to ignore emerging markets and competitors from other countries. You are either growing or falling behind. There is no other option. If you want a business that can scale and expand with global market demand, you need a long term global vision that can be broken down to smaller steps that are local and linked making the long term vision possible. For a small business, the process of looking long term and building short term without resources locally is difficult but not impossible to do.

Your success is defined by your vision, long term goals and your ability to implement them. Research your competition and market demographics to isolate the factors you can control to make a difference. Define your long term goals and work backwards to understand what steps must be taken to achieve each milestone. This will reduce risk and optimize the results you want.  These small steps towards the goal define a process that is strategically connecting everything you do.

Every SME has to reduce the risk of any new venture and maximize the opportunity. If you don’t have the resources you can always rent or buy what you need for outsourced sales help like 80-20 select, educate, sell. The decision to rent or buy these resources is based on a cost benefit analysis. It sounds difficult but breaking a big goal into smaller ones reduce risk, optimize growth and are strategically connected that makes anything possible.

Well let’s go!

  1. Define your long term goal.
  2. Break down long term goals into smaller steps.
  3. Set short term goals.
  4. Minimize the risk and maximize the gain.
  5. Take the first step.

 If you are interested in getting a copy of the playbook to get export ready in 90 days send me an email or visit me on linkedin.

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