For many companies frequent visits to Canada and establishing a local presence are crucial to long-term market success. Canada is a wealthy, high-tech industrial society, with an economy that resembles the US in its market-oriented system, pattern of production, and affluent living standards. With low inflation, business costs and steady economic growth, Canada offers good trade and investment opportunities for foreign companies in a long list of sectors. The Canadian market offers a great deal of opportunity for global business development in in both traditional and non-traditional industries. Canada remains among the most accessible markets in the world for exporters, yet the foreign exporters must understand differing provincial regulations, conduct due diligence on market potential and sales channels, comprehend labeling and packaging requirements and certification standards and customs procedures, and in general must educate themselves on unique industry matters relevant to selling their goods or services in Canada. Exporters should be prepared for Canada Customs documentation, bilingual labeling, and packaging requirements, Canadian federal and provincial sales tax accounting and, in some cases, should be aware of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Increasing competition in several sectors such as cosmetics, vitamins, electronics, and home furnishings translates into a need for competitive pricing, provocative and imaginative marketing, and deep discounts for agents and distributors. Other ways to differentiate from your competitors are to offer agents and distributors specialized training and flexible contract terms, or to offer end users after-sales support.
To improve the chances of successful business expansion in Canada, you need to follow following five step approach. Since direct selling in Canada by a foreign firm will be difficult, the best approach is first seek the support of a local partner who knows the market? The next step is finding sales agents who can either sell your products or services, or alternatively acquaint you with potential clients or customers. The third step is finding a Canadian distributor like Transmann who has a proven track record of selling on a local or national level. The fourth step is asking your local partners to search for Joint ventures with local companies primarily because of their knowledge and established presence in the market. It is often a pricey option but lessens the risk. The fifth step is the setting up of your own Canadian office through your local partners ensuring maximum control on all operations.
Why choose TRANSMANNA International ?
- We have connections to various established Canadian businesses. We have highly educated and experienced staff in Canada who we communicate with on a daily basis.
- We also have a vast understanding of the diverse Canadian culture and can guide your company accordingly.
- We understand how to interact and work within the cultural diversity of Canadian.
- Our team has the ability to interact within the Canadian business community by negotiating, using persuasion skills, critical thinking and creative problem solving.
- As your partner, we will be the face of your company and will represent your company on all forums. We will always seek better and faster ways to increase your sales by constantly improving the aspects of our interactions.
- We will continue to guide and partner with you as you build your business in the region by listening to you and the clients and will always maintain a compromise.
Transmanna Market Development Services
Transmanna team can identify the optimal market entry approach for your product or service in the following way
1- Market Entry
- Assessment of your company and it’s export readiness.
- Determination of partnership structure.
- Screening and selection of credible and result proven local partners through detailed legal and financial due diligence.
- Preparations of all necessary agreements to conform with specific regional laws.
- Rendering of regulatory compliance services.
2- Market Research
We carry out an exhaustive market study in order to identify the characteristics of target populations, market segments, nature of competition, penetration strategies, promotions strategies already in use, decision about positioning of your products, possible customs duties and formalities and other administrative requirements.
3- Marketing Strategy
We will help you to create a Marketing Strategy which will help you to define business lines, establish fairer pricing policies using examples from the market as a benchmark.
4- Sales Strategy Consulting
We define the best way to market and sell your products or services by determining channels, sales structures, client type, product range, prices and conditions of sale.
5- Sales Planning and Organization
Precise sales planning will aid in establishing precise sales objectives and defining the tools and methods we will use to carry out continuous evaluation and control. Adequate organisation of sales resources with respect to zones, structures, quantities, tasks and specialisation. This sales planning will allow us to allocate budgets and to apportion resources in accordance with your needs.
6- Sales Presentation
This is will be the key document in the sales activities of your firm. Sales pitches will enable your organisation to increase sales and to close more deals. The appropriate handling of customer objections coupled with a deep knowledge of the company’s products and service will improve sales follow up.
7- Generating Sales Opportunities
Transmanna will advise you on appropriate communication for your product and services resulting in generating high degrees of interest and achieving a constant trickle of new clients.
8- Positioning the product in the market
Transmanna Brand positioning service will advise you on the redesign of a product, and to create the image, packaging, price structures and target markets with the aim of effectively communicating what your company represents and/or its activities coherently, tenacity and integrity.
9- Marketing & Promotion
Providing ongoing marketing communications and public relations support to help strengthen your company’s brand and positioning.
Trade Show Support
Local Office Set up
In conjunction with own correspondents in the target market, our consultants facilitate your setting up an overseas office as a legal entity and assistance in hiring local staff.
To evaluate a prospective intermediary we use following criteria:
- Size of sales force
- How many field sales personnel does the agent or distributor have?
- What are its short- and long-range expansion plans, if any?
- Will it have to expand to accommodate your needs properly? If yes, would it do so?
- Sales record
- Has its sales growth been consistent over the past five years? If not, why not?
- What are its sales objectives for the next year? How were they determined?
- Territorial analysis
- What territory does it now cover? Is it consistent with the coverage you’re looking for? Is it willing and able to expand?
- Does it have any branch offices in the territory you wish to cover?
- Are its branch offices located where your sales prospects are greatest?
- Are there plans to open additional offices?
- Product or service mix
- How many product or service lines does it represent?
- Are they compatible with yours?
- Does it represent any other Canadian firms?
- Would there be any conflict of interest?
- Would it be willing to alter its present product or service mix to accommodate yours, if necessary?
- What would be the minimum sales volume needed to justify handling your lines?
- Do its sales projections reflect this minimum figure?
- From what you know of the territory and the prospective agent or distributor, is its projection realistic?
- Facilities and equipment
- Does it have adequate warehouse facilities?
- What is its method of stock control?
- Are their computers compatible with yours?
- What communications facilities does it have?
- If servicing is required, is it equipped and qualified to do so?
- If new equipment and/or training are required, to what extent will you have to share these additional costs?
- If necessary, would it be willing to inventory repair parts and replacement items?
- Marketing policies
- How is its sales staff compensated?
- Does it have special incentive or motivation programs?
- Does it use product managers to coordinate sales efforts for specific lines?
- How does it monitor sales performance?
- How does it train its sales staff?
- Would it be willing to share expenses for sales personnel to attend seminars?
- Customer profile
- What types of customers is it currently in contact with?
- Are its interests compatible with your lines?
- Who are its key accounts?
- What percentage of total gross receipts do these accounts represent?
- Principals represented
- How many principals does it currently represent?
- Would you be its primary supplier?
- If not, what percentage of its total business would you represent? How does this percentage compare with other suppliers?
- Promotional thrust
- Can it help you research market information?
- What types of media does it use, if any, to promote sales?
- How much of its budget is allocated to advertising? How is it distributed?
- Would you be expected to share promotional costs? If so, how will this amount be determined?
- If it uses direct mail, how many prospects are on its mailing list?
- What printed materials are used to describe its company and the lines it represents?
- If necessary, can it translate your advertising copy?
- Does it have its own website?
Why expand a business in Canada?
Canada is the second largest nation in the world in geographic size after Russia. It has a population of approximately 33 million people, 90 percent of whom live within 125 miles of the United States border, leaving most of its lands scarcely inhabited. An efficient and complete transportation network though provides access for goods and services to all parts of the country. Starting a business in Canada is also relatively easy. Richness of mines, technological development that traces out that of the neighbour US and an enviable cultural heritage contributed to make of Canada one of the wealthiest nation in the world, without equal in standard of living.
Selling and Operational Adaptation in Canada
Apart from adapting to the Canadian culture, you may find yourself having to reassess the way you traditionally operate and conduct business. Here are some things to think about when you’re planning:
- Will you be able to easily obtain the raw materials you require?
- Will you be able to import all the materials you need?
- Will you be able to find skilled workers in Canada?
- Are you prepared, if necessary, to increase workforce and productivity?
- Are you familiar with the Canadian laws, regulations and trade controls that could affect your business?
When considering the distributional needs of your business, it is essential to account for the logistical factors which could affect it. These include things, such as:
- Your goods: are they fragile, expensive, perishable? Do they need to be kept at a certain temperature?
- Are your goods live, or considered dangerous, and, if so, can you meet the requisites of customs and excise, or health and safety?
- How regularly will you deliver? Daily, weekly, monthly? Can you find a distributor who can accommodate this?
- Can you foresee the dates / times you’ll need to distribute?
- Have you worked out the transportation costs? Air freight and couriers are fast, but also the most expensive forms of freight.
- Reliable and invariable collection and delivery times, which offer accurate predictability and time-traceability
- Awareness of transit times so you can plan around them
- Freight security
- Fuel price fluctuation
- Effect of congestion or delay
The infrastructure of a country could prove integral to the success of your business. Canada has a world-class and effective system of infrastructures. It has a transportation system which includes 870,000 miles of roads, 10 major international airports, 300 smaller airports, 45,000 miles of functioning railway track, and more than 300 commercial ports and harbours that provide access to the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans as well as the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The major airports are the Toronto Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International, Calgary International, Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International, Edmonton International, Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, Halifax Stanfield International, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International, Victoria International, Kelowna International Airport. The Port of Vancouver is the busiest port in Canada. Other major ports are Montreal, Halifax, St. Johns in Newfoundland, Fraser River and Saint John in New Brunswick. Approximately 140 million tonnes of cargo is loaded and unloaded at Canadian ports each year.
Traditionally, wholesalers are used for selling low-value directly to retailers and, occasionally, the public and businesses. It is an economic way of targeting and reaching vast numbers of people quickly, and frees you from the burden of contacting retailers individually. Distributing products in bulk not only means products sell faster than one-at-a-time, but it also allows your business to grow at a quicker rate. Dispensing products and collecting money is generally considered more manageable and easy than dealing with a variety of customers. However, both the wholesaler and retailer will add their own mark-ups, meaning your profit margin will be less than full potential.
Just like with distributors, do some meticulous research into the wholesalers available. Here are some things to think about when choosing an appropriate wholesaler:
- Their client base: a healthy wholesaler-retailer relationship can only increase sales
- Will you want to limit sales only to retailers that suit your product’s image?
- How well-established is the wholesaler? A national presence could help bring your company to the forefront of the market
- Will the wholesaler appreciate your product? If it already sells a competing product, how will it negotiate pushing yours too?
- Will you have a say in the price the wholesaler sets for your goods?
- Will the wholesaler do its best to promote your goods to its clients?
- How will the supply exchange operate? Minimum order levels / resupply?
- Will you be restricted in any way, such as limitation on distributing through alternative channels?
Business Etiquette in Canada
Etiquette is one of the foundations of modern civilisation, and business is no exception. Canadians expect others to adhere to the proper protocol for any given situation: shake hands with everyone at the meeting upon arrival and departure, maintain eye contact while shaking hands, exchange business cards after the initial introduction. Politeness does not mean excessive formality: businesspeople are usually easy-going and somewhat informal. Canadians are essentially rational and logical and thus they will not be convinced by emotions, passion or feelings. They expect people to speak in a straightforward manner and to be able to back up their claims with examples. When presenting information, it is important to have facts and figures to substantiate claims and promises. Be factual and do not make exaggerated claims: they will be suspicious of something that sounds too good to be true. Their communication style is essentially pragmatic and relies on common sense: they can disagree openly when necessary, but they prefer to do so with tact and diplomacy.
Business etiquette in Canada is marked by regionalism and cultural diversity All Canadians like their space and prefer to be at an arm’s length when speaking to someone. Communication styles vary most between Anglophone and Francophone parts of the country. French speaking Canadians are generally more indirect and exuberant than English speaking Canadians. English speaking people do not generally interrupt someone who is speaking. They consider it rude not to let a person complete their thought before entering the discussion. French speaking Canadians are more likely to interrupt another speaker.
Information by sector
The Trade Commissioner Service provides sector-specific advice and information for Canadian companies positioning themselves in global markets. Use the following sector list as your guide for sector profiles, market reports and upcoming events, such as trade shows and presentations.
- Agriculture and Processed Foods
- Arts and Cultural Industries
- Clean Technologies
- Consumer Products
- Defence and Security
- Financial and Insurance Services
- Fish and Seafood
- Forestry and Wood Products
- Industrial Machinery
- Information and Communications Technologies
- Life Sciences
- Ocean Technologies
- Oil and Gas
- Professional Services