Valley First

Accessing External Markets

There are many businesses competing for foreign markets in today's growing global economy. To be successful, you’ll need a well laid out strategy for your product and service offering, your facilities and your company branding so that you can gain a competitive advantage abroad.


Things to consider

  • Whether to customize your company's offerings in each different country market to match the tastes and preferences of local buyers or offer a mostly standardized product worldwide.
  • Whether you should employ essentially the same basic competitive strategy in all countries or modify your strategy country by country to fit the specific market conditions and competitive circumstances it encounters.
  • Where to locate your company's production facilities, distribution centers, and customer service operations so you can gain the greatest location advantages.
  • How to efficiently transfer your company's resource strengths and capabilities from one country to another in an effort to secure a competitive advantage.


It can be challenging to expand your business outside of Canada. It’s a good idea to learn everything you can about the regulations and options in countries where you’d like to do business.

Foreign exchange (FX)

  • Foreign exchange is determined by the value of all the world's currencies in relation to one another.
  • If your business involves importing or exporting products to or from other countries, you're affected by the value of the Canadian dollar.
  • If you provide a service in another country, you're similarly concerned with the rate of exchange.
  • While there is almost nothing you can do to affect the value of the Canadian dollar, there are some precautions you can take to make sure your business doesn't go under due to a fluctuation in FX.
  • It’s best to research ways to protect your profits in a foreign market and devise a strategy to manage your exposure to these changes. If you’d like more information, one of our business experts would be happy to chat with you.

Reaching new markets

As with any business venture, you have to start with something that you're interested in and that you can do. Look around at some of the Canadian companies that have been successful in other countries. Your business may be able to use some of the strategies they employed.

Choose an appropriate market. Your target market must have a need for the product or service that you plan to provide; these new customers must also be able to afford a price that will allow you to profit.


It's a good idea to choose a market in a culture that you are interested in, because you'll need to travel there to do market research, establish contacts and keep up with changes in the market as your business prospers.

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