5 Tips for Expanding in Canada

Is expanding to Canada part of your growth strategy? Canada can provide exciting growth opportunities for international companies, but you have to be ready to take on this complex market. Foreign companies that expand into Canada without carrying out the necessary preparations are often restricted by such factors as inadequate financial resources, a lack of understanding of Canadian culture and a failure to clearly differentiate their product or service.

Here are 5 tips that will help you successfully expand in Canada.
1) Do your research

While it may seem obvious, it’s imperative that business owners research how trade is done in Canada – from different labor rules to language laws to business practices.

2) Develop a leadership team

We recommend managing locally as much as possible. To ensure success, it’s vital to have leadership in the country who can swiftly respond to customers’ dynamics and competitors’ activities.

3) Find your niche

When expanding to Canada, one of the biggest mistakes made by foreign companies is relying on their reputation abroad. Counting on your way of doing business in other countries will not help you succeed in Canada. You must find your niche beforehand in the Canadian market and treat Canadian consumers as a separate market. With that being said, never price items higher than your American stores, as prices may be familiar to Canadian customers.

4) Localize e-Commerce

Create an online shopping experience specifically for the Canadian consumer. Prices should be shown in Canadian dollars with only products that are shippable in the country. Accurate taxes and shipping charges are also mandatory.

5) Understand cultural differences

Canada is a huge country with a variety of demographics and markets. Factoring in language and cultural differences only adds to the challenge. For example, Quebec is a vastly different market to Alberta. Canadians have different values and beliefs than our neighbours to the south or across the pond. Understanding these differences, even within the Canadian market, and then taking this into account for your sales, marketing and advertising is crucial. Never launch in a country without understanding how people there shop.

An additional tip… partner with a local firm to help facilitate your entry. At CASACOM, we can help you successfully expand your business to Canada. We use our experience and skills so you can better understand the Canadian landscape and markets. Contact us if you wish to discuss this further.

Canada photo

Andrea Mancini About the author
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