Ready to Go Global? Test Yourself First

Plus: U.S. SMEs bullish on exports, and Canada poised to make mega-deal with India—in this week's Export Wire for Canadian small business

Written by John Lorinc

If you want to go global, take this test: A new research study commissioned by the shipping and logistics firm DHL concludes that SMEs thinking about exporting would be well advised to use the so-called RAT test to determine if they are ready to make the leap. Devised by MIT’s Donald Lessard, RAT stands for “relevant” (to the target market), “appropriable” (able to capture the value they create) and “transferable” (can do abroad what they do at home).

“In one case study example, a 10-year old insulation company passed the RAT test because its product was universal and technically superior (Relevant), while being protected by trade patents (Appropriable) and was Transferable due to its high value of weight to volume ratio and relatively large ticket sales to small number of customers.”

Coming soon: Canada trade deal with India: Canada’s High Commissioner to India Stewart Beck has told an Indian news service that an ambitious trade agreement with the South Asian giant could be imminent. In an interview published in Vancouver Desi, Beck said the number of Canadian firms active in India has jumped from 250 to 600 in recent years, and expects that bilateral trade between the two nations could increase by $6 billion as a result. Besides energy and food exports,

“Beck believes the real big opportunity lies in vocation training. Canadian institutions have the opportunity to come to India and give vocational training for skill development as millions of people will be entering the workforce in 10 to 15 years, he said. “Some of them already have bilateral programs with local universities. Given the demographic dividend, it is going to be a tremendous opportunity,” he said.”

Join your fellow exporters and discuss the challenges of working in global markets in the PROFIT Export Exchange on LinkedIn

U.S. SMEs bullish on exports: Canadian SMEs thinking about testing the international marketplace take note: a study released last week by Bibby Financial Services, found that 85% of U.S. firms surveyed said they finally had the financial tools needed to ramp up their export operations. The report noted that Washington’s 2010 export program appears to have translated into increased confidence levels. As the report notes,

“It has taken some time for President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), launched in 2010, to affect the confidence levels of U.S. small business owners,” said Leigh Lones, CEO, Bibby Financial Services Americas, which offers import and export financing. “But they now say they have the right tools and level of support to fulfill the export potential of their business.”

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