How SME’s can get financially prepared to access new global markets


Mountain climbing - small business financial planning

Mountain climbing - small business financial planning

Tapping into new international markets presents growth opportunities for businesses of all sizes and yet, as of January 2018, only about 15 percent of Canadian SMEs were engaged in global trade.

SME exporters generate more revenues than non-exporters according to SME Profile: Canadian Exporters, a report by Industry Canada. Evidence shows that exporters generate higher sales, pre-tax profit margins and returns on assets, on average, compared with non-exporters. So why don’t more businesses go global?

Among the many challenges faced by businesses seeking to tap into global markets, finance might be the most fundamental.

So how do small and medium sized businesses prepare themselves to take advantage of the opportunities of going global?

We asked a panel of experts in our latest #TradeElite Twitter chat, to find out how SME’s can best get financially prepared to access new global markets. What we discovered is that there is lots of information, support and assistance for business of any size.  Check out the highlights of the chat  below and you can scroll through the #TradeElite hashtag to follow the entire chat.

Moderator: Nicole Chevrier, Content Marketing Specialist, FITT (@FITTNews)


Scott C. Ferris, @ScottCFerrisPEI,  CEO of The Saddle Up Management Co.  and Biz Dev Professional. Scott established the Saddle Up Management Company after 25 years of experience in export sales planning, domestic and international business development, investment attraction, negotiations and partnership engagement. His experience stems from participating in and organizing more than 30 trade missions on four continents.

Stacey Gordon, @StaceyCGordon, Director, International Trade, ATB Financial. Stacey is the Director of International Trade at ATB Financial, where she introduces trade and helps to remove roadblocks. She previously spent 9 years at EDC where she worked with hundreds of companies at all stages of their export journey.  She teaches International Marketing at MacEwan University, where she hopes to influence the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs about the advantages of diversification.

Jeff Shepherd, @JeffMShepherd, Marketing Coordinator, Mentor Works Ltd. Jeff is a Marketing Coordinator and Government Funding Planner at Mentor Works Ltd. As an educator about the Canadian government funding landscape, Jeff identifies opportunities where businesses could scale and reach new international markets with grants, loans, and other government incentives.

What are some of the most common financial barriers to international trade for small business?

What’s the best way for business to assess their financial readiness? Is an expert required?

What are some tools and resources that small biz can use to gauge their state of readiness?

How do you prepare a financial plan to access new international markets? Where do you start?

How do you forecast the cost of getting into a new market?  What kinds of initial costs and ongoing costs are there?

Are the financial implications for getting into global trade different for smaller businesses?

What are some of the common financial mistakes small businesses make in embarking on global ventures?

What are some hidden or often forgotten costs businesses need to account for in their planning?

What are the most critical financial management issues for small biz getting into global trade?

What kind of finance skills are typically needed from in-house resources? Do you need to hire a financial expert?

Recent evidence suggests that financial support to small biz is most successful when offered in combination with consulting services, business advice or financial education – what are your thoughts?

Read the rest of the chat and join future discussions by following the #TradeElite hashtag. And stay tuned for the next #TradeElite chat, coming up on November 15th at 2:30-3:30PM ET, and if you haven’t yet, join us on Twitter at @FITTNews.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing participants, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forum for International Trade Training.

About the author

Author: Nicole Chevrier

I am a digital media writer and a Content Marketing Specialist with the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). My background is in digital marketing and communications. Creating content that inspires, informs or delivers on results is my passion.

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