2019-07-09
Developing the International Market

Developing the International Market

Going global is now a must! Since the competition is now hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away, it is important for a startup to think globally from the start. Tackling international markets is not something that can be done on your own! Here are some practical tips to support your internationalization.

Why Go Abroad?

When you start your business, two strategies are available: first develop the local market or bet from the outset on the international market. The two options are fundamentally different and will lead you to different challenges. The local market being what it is, you will probably need to focus on internationalization if you aim to achieve quickly increasing growth.

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service has created a questionnaire to assess your export potential, so you can concentrate your efforts in the right place at the right time. Don’t make the mistake of expanding your operations internationally if you don’t have the infrastructure, resources, contacts or knowledge in place to do so.

Preparing for The International Market

Even if your product has great potential in most markets, exporting or translating your material is often not enough to convince your target audience abroad. Be sure to first understand the particularities of the country in which you wish to develop your business. Regulations, cultural differences, ways of doing things; many challenges can slow down your business development.

The Quebec government has set up the Export Québec initiatives and the Quebec delegations abroad can assist you in your efforts. Trade commissioners will introduce you to key tools and contacts on-site to help you better understand the local ecosystem.

Some cities have also implemented mechanisms to facilitate your export. For example, France offers Bleu, Blanc, Tech, a turnkey service to access the French market.

No matter what market you want to penetrate, take a moment to conduct due diligence and use the right resources in the field.

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International Support

Globalization is a major issue for any type of business, and even more for a startup. That’s why Startup Canada organizes a startup cohort once a year for companies that want to enter the international market.

PME Montréal offer several international support programs. TechnoMontréal can also support you in developing your international startup through its many trade corridors.

Financial Resources to Conquer the World

Developing the international market is a rather expensive activity. Certain funds like Innovexport specialize in financing startups that want to go global. Several investment funds in Serie A or B can also help. Investors generally have an extensive network that they will happily share with you.

The Canadian government offers financing options through CanExport to help you go global.

Being On-Site

You can, of course, sell your product from the comfort of your offices in Montreal, but nothing beats an on-site visit to better understand the market and build a strong network.

To maximize your return on investment when travelling abroad, nothing beats good preparation before departure: have your business plan with you, improve your pitch, set your mission objectives, etc. You only have one chance to make a good impression!

Aware that the price of travel is a major challenge for startups, LOJIQ offers funding for many missions every year and you can also present your initiatives to obtain a travel grant. These scholarships are aimed at young entrepreneurs under 35.

As for the Montreal Chamber of Commerce, the ACCLR team organizes international missions several times a year. Check the list here.

The East Montreal Chamber of Commerce and Export Montréal Ouest grant businesses in their region personalized support and training for their development outside Quebec.

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Every Monday, you will get a special newsletter from Bonjour Startup Montréal developed with Montréal inc., Notman House and OSMO and highlighting the initiatives within the ecosystem to adapt and pivot in the current context.

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