TradeTips Blog
Five Strategies for Expanding
Your Business to the USA

By Jim Pettinger

Many Canadian entrepreneurs would like to sell or do business in the huge and responsive USA market, but don’t know how or where to start. With the US dollar gaining strength, my advice is start tomorrow.

During the past 20+ years, we have helped hundreds of BC companies expand their businesses into the USA. During that time we have seen many success stories and a few failures. This combined experience can be distilled into a few key strategies that will allow you to start small, yet have the opportunity to grow a significant US dollar revenue stream.

1. Treat the USA as "domestic". It’s far too big to consider as just another export market. Bridge the border and get personally involved. Handle and control activities yourself, at least to start.

2. Develop a USA business "presence". Americans don’t speak “postal code”. Make sure all your communications and logistics are handled from a real or virtual USA branch office and/or warehouse. Note: you don’t have to pretend you’re not Canadian. In fact, Americans love buying from foreigners. You simply have to make it easy for them to do so.

3. The USA is a huge market, so FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS. Most Canadian success stories in the USA result from niche marketing. Remember, your USA market consists of only those prospects you can afford to reach.

4. Be practical. Don’t mimic big multinational companies. Expect delays, pinch your pennies and avoid long-term commitments. Use creative marketing tactics.

5. Warehouse and distribute from the USA. Your USA warehouse may be real or virtual, but either way it will pay dividends in cost savings, response, certainty, and control. Plan ahead to anticipate storage of trade show booths, USA purchase of collateral materials, and for returns and repairs. Avoid headaches by shipping your products, literature and other material directly through your nearest USA port of entry.

Thousands of Canadian entrepreneurs are earning lucrative US dollars today. Shouldn’t you be one of them?

Jim Pettinger, is president of UCanTrade, Inc.

From its Ferndale, Washington facility, his company provides Canadian and other companies with USA business identity, warehousing, distribution, order fulfillment, tradeshow materials management and returns processing.

Contact Jim at (360) 380-6900 or visit ucantrade.com.

©2019 UCanTrade, Inc.