From Local to Global: How Exporting Can Advance Your BC Business

Small Business BC - Sponcon April 2024


Whether your company is big or small, exporting can grow your business. And while your local market is a great starting point, it will only take you so far. There are more than five million British Columbians today, but getting your business ready to export can open you up to new markets in the billions. 

Even with zero experience, by leveraging existing resources and support, you can get your business ready to export confidently.

Benefits of Exporting:

When you export your goods or services, you reach new markets with potential new customers, benefits, and cost-saving opportunities.

You can benefit from higher sales volumes when your customer base is growing. Higher sales volumes will decrease your production costs and help to create cost savings through economies of scale.

Entering new markets also means connecting with new opportunities. You could discover a grant or funding that you’re now eligible for. Or, you could meet with new potential business partners. 

Finally, a big benefit to exporting is that it diversifies your business. This will help you by insulating your business from fluctuations in the local market, especially when competition increases in your region.

Small Business BC - Sponcon April 2024

How to Get Exporting Support:

Exporting can go from daunting to exciting when you have a trusted expert in your corner. 

Export Navigator is a free program supported by federal and provincial funding that connects you with a dedicated Export Advisor. 

Why work with an Export Advisor?

Export Advisors are located throughout BC, and you’ll be matched with one who’s familiar with the local business landscape in your region. Advisors connect businesses with resources, industry connections, and support services on the way.

When you meet with your advisor, they will do an assessment of your business’s export readiness. Then, they will be with you step-by-step on your export journey, allowing you to go at your own pace.

The Export Pathway

Export Navigator simplifies a complicated process into a step-by-step system. The Export Pathway has four stages: awareness, planning, market entry, and market development and growth.

  • Awareness
    This stage assesses your awareness of exporting as a growth strategy and your export readiness. You’ll also start to build your international network and work on your business expansion plan.
  • Planning
    The planning stage includes identifying, researching and narrowing down the markets that your product or service has a potential to succeed.  Once you have validated the chosen markets, you’ll develop an extension of your business plan that is focused on planning and executing the export strategy.
  • Market entry
    The market entry stage is where the rubber hits the road. You will implement your export plan, and work towards making your first sale in your new market. This may include attending trade shows, trade missions and B2B meetings in your chosen markets.
  • Market development and growth
    Once you’re in the market, it’s time to sustain your presence, get help with any troubleshooting that comes up, and continue to grow.

How to Join Export Navigator

The first step to joining the free Export Navigator program is to fill out the “Find an Advisor” form. In less than five minutes, you will find out if your business is eligible for the program.

Then, eligible businesses are connected with an Export Advisor. Your advisor will reach out to learn more about your business and provide you with an intake form. Once you’re accepted into the program, your advisor will offer one-on-one guidance to help you reach your exporting goals.

Small Business BC - Sponcon April 2024

Export Education for Business Owners

If you’re curious to learn more about exporting before joining Export Navigator, then you can take advantage of free e-courses for BC businesses.

  • Export Essentials → This introductory course provides you with an overview of the exporting process from start to finish.
  • Exporting Your Services  → This course for service businesses provides you with the knowledge and resources to export your service to a new market.
  • Preparing to Export Agri-foods → This course for agri-food suppliers shows you how to identify your target market, navigate regulations, and identify transportation and distribution modes. You’ll also be connected with additional resources and programs for support.

With so many free resources available, exporting is easier than ever. Get started on your export journey by learning more from Export Navigator.

Thinking of exporting? Find an advisor today and discover what opportunities are available to you.