Magazine article CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine

Boost Your Sales: Consider the Export Option!

Magazine article CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine

Boost Your Sales: Consider the Export Option!

Article excerpt

Tips on how to explore new markets for your products or services in the U.S.A.

In the October 1992 issue of CMA magazine, this column addressed a key question of independent business: "How can we increase our sales revenue?" One of the four marketing strategies suggested that you explore new markets for your existing products or services. Well, how about the United States of America?

If you wish to export to the United States, there are two main issues that have to be thoroughly explored. The first is to determine the nature of the market opportunities. And, the second is to determine what barriers must be overcome to effectively compete in the new market.

Let me strongly advise you to carefully consider which geographical area of the United States is the best place for your business to first penetrate this large and diverse collection of markets. It's important to remember that you are not dealing with one market but rather a number of very different markets. The U.S. is a combination of a variety of heterogeneous markets, many of which are quite unique. Each needs to be understood fully before a Canadian firm decides to take the big step across the border.

Do not immediately think of Detroit, Buffalo, New England, or the north west region, simply because they are geographically close. Your real opportunities may indeed be in other regions. In Florida for example, the economy here seems to be growing and gaining strength at a rate that is higher than the national average. I am also aware that states such as North Carolina and South Carolina provide some excellent business opportunities.

Solid market research is clearly the key to determining the nature of your opportunities. This research can be contracted to either a Canadian or a U.S. consulting firm. Unless the Canadian firm has an office located in the region of the United States to which you wish to export, it may fail to fully appreciate the nature of the opportunity and how to do business in the new market. On the other hand, the U.S. firm that operates solely south of the border will probably not totally appreciate the Canadian perspective.

You should look for a consultant who is networked into the Canadian business environment with an understanding of the nature of Canadian business. In addition, the consultant should have "hands on" knowledge of the particular American market you're exploring. This means he or she should have developed networks, contacts, and rapport with local business people. And the consultant should have earned the trust and respect that come only from doing business in the local market.

If the research indicates that there is a market opportunity, the next step is to determine the barriers that may exist to penetrating the chosen market. …

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