The Loonie – A Hindrance or An Opportunity?

Whether it was to catch a cheaper flight from Bellingham to Las Vegas or to shop at an I-5 outlet mall, since 2013 many British Columbians were flocking to the nearest lower-mainland border crossing and travelling to the states in search of a good deal.

Canadian dollar the loonieHowever, a weakened Loonie curbed many Canadian shoppers who’d been making the trip south of the border to stay home. Indeed throughout Washington State’s Whatcom County, retailers in border towns like Sumas, Blaine, Lynden and further south to Ferndale and Bellingham have seen dramatic drops in Canadian shoppers since 2013 (BPRI Winter 2017 Brief: Changes in Canadian Shopping Visits in Northwest Washington, 2013 to 2016).

Interestingly though the loonie has rallied in value to a little over 80 cents to the American dollar. Will we see a surge in cross-border activity again here in Whatcom County? We hope so! However, even in light of recent news, there’s more to the ‘cross-border currency’ story than shopping. Like SELLING! CADUSD20yrs

Historically the USD has dominated over the Loonie as reflected in this 20 year chart. (Source)

A paradigm shift. Can Canadians consider the exchange rate between the Canadian Dollar (CAD) – USA Dollar (USD) not as a hindrance, but rather as an opportunity? They should! Here’s why.

Assuming all the proverbial ducks are in a row, ‘I’s dotted and ‘T’s crossed, the savvy B.C. business owner and entrepreneur stands to earn at least 20% more on their U.S. sales in part due to the favorable exchange rate.

“Here are the simple facts” says UCanTrade, Inc. president and dual citizen, Jim Pettinger: “(1) most U.S. land border crossings have been upgraded and are fully open for Canadian goods and people, (2) each sale you make for US$100 nets you C$120 or more, (3) your business presence in the U.S. can lead to a green card and dual-citizen status if you wish , and (4) American buyers (a) love Canadian goods, (b) have double the available money of their Canadian counterparts and (c) make their buying decisions at least  three times as fast.”

If history is an indicator then a long-term outlook is for a weak Loonie. Canadian companies need to immediately seize the opportunity to stake a position in the lucrative U.S. market. With careful planning, the initial cost can be minimal, but the payoff could be enormous.

Interested in learning more about doing business in the USA? Attend our next DBUSA Seminar &/or download this whitepaper “Ten Tips for Better Border Business”.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Doing Business in the USA – Seminar

Canadian companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs who attend this ‘fast-paced’ seminar will learn from cross-border experts how to ‘determine an export strategy’ and ‘understand their responsibilities’ to U.S. government agencies like U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration.

Professional veteran cross-border immigration and business lawyers, accountants, customs brokers and logistics providers will guide attendees through the steps of exporting into the U.S.A., as well as be on hand to answer questions and offer consultation.

Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Time: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Place: Hyatt Vancouver, 655 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2R7
Fee: $75.00 CAD plus GST (per attendee)

Questions?  Contact us at (360) 380-6900 for more information or,

CLICK FOR EVENT INFO / TO REGISTER

The Doing Business in the USA seminar is presented by:

dbusa
TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1983.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Optimize For Customers. Optimize Your Business.

So much more than business analysis or software upgrades, optimizing your business means taking a global approach to reviewing the processes required to satisfy your customers’ needs.

By definition, to optimize, is to make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource).  “It is not something only for the big companies,” says Casian Glavce, General Manager at Hewitt Material Handling, “if you do not optimize, you’re not going to be in business.”  This is particularly true for small and medium exporters where the supply chain process is very involved and oversights can cripple a business.

Packaging optimization for example, which is often overlooked, can significantly impact a company’s transportation costs which ultimately impacts pricing, one of the most important decisions a business owner has to make.  Inefficient order fulfillment can also be costly.

UCT Ops Mgr, Terry Dickey, handling costly odd-length package.

UCanTrade’s Operations Manager, Terry Dickey, handling costly odd-length package.

JR White, director, solutions engineering at KNAPP explains, “With the ecommerce orders … items can’t just be dumped into a shipping carton willy-nilly. There is a logical order to the packing that prevents damage and ensures the order arrives neatly presented to the customer. In other words, the shoes are not on top of the shirts.  That’s the first thing the customer sees and if you screw that up they’re not going to like it. They’re going to complain about it online and then ten other people aren’t going to shop here—all because of one missed order.” Accurate, considerate order fulfillment dramatically impact a company’s sales and market sustainability.

Through an ‘export lens’, trade experts and government organizations can provide invaluable assistance to help you outline your ‘best, most effective’ plan, to both optimize for your customer’s needs while simultaneously optimizing your business goals and returns on investments.

Interested in doing business in the United States?  Learn more at our upcoming seminar, October 19, 2016 in Richmond, B.C. Canada.  (Click HERE for more information.)

(Related: Six Eyes On Every BoxHow Much Should I Charge My U.S. Customers? )

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

(Source article)

Selling Into The USA – Easier Than You Think

By: Jim Pettinger

Have you considered the potential benefits of exporting your company’s products into the United States? If not, you may be neglecting the largest, richest and most responsive market in the world – a market that lies right at British Columbia’s doorstep.  Export from Canada

Unfortunately, many Canadian small business owners and entrepreneurs are either confused or intimidated when they hear the words “export” or “international trade.” But with the right planning, small business owners in Canada can and should approach the U.S. like an extension of the Canadian market.  Once you have developed some basic procedures for dealing with the international boundary, exporting to the U.S. can be both easy and lucrative.

A Huge and Receptive Market

The United States is a huge market of more than 300 million consumers who welcome foreign products. What’s more, the U.S. government is very cooperative when it comes to helping Canadian businesses get a foothold in U.S. markets.

As a Canadian business owner, you can readily obtain a B-1 visa that will enable you to travel within the U.S. for marketing and other business purposes for up to six months. And once you’ve gone through the appropriate security procedures (like basic fingerprinting and photographing), you can have access to fast-track border crossings unavailable to most other visitors.

The Canadian government has also instituted programs to help facilitate business across our southern border. In addition, Canadian businesses are generally well-respected in the U.S. and considered to be trustworthy. Canadian goods and services are often perceived to be of high quality and a “cut above” by U.S. customers.

Secret to Success: Think Domestic

The secret to successfully exporting your products or services to the U.S. is to “think domestic” by establishing a presence for your business in the United States. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical presence – you just need for your U.S. customers to perceive that your business has a presence south of the border.

In other words, you should organize all the logistics of your business so that American customers do not believe they will have any additional concerns in dealing with a Canadian firm. For example, they need to know that they can deal in U.S. dollars and have their products shipped from or returned to a U.S. address. All of your communications, logistics and other activities should be handled from a real or virtual U.S. branch office or warehouse.

Regardless of whether your U.S. branch or warehouse is real or virtual, having a U.S. presence will pay big dividends in cost savings, response time and control. You can plan ahead to anticipate storage of trade show booths and the purchase of collateral materials in the U.S., as well as for returns and repairs. And you can avoid headaches by shipping your products, literature and other material directly through your nearest U.S. port of entry.

It’s also crucial that you get to know the U.S. marketplace first-hand. Many Canadians think they know everything about the U.S. through what they see and hear in the media, but you can’t just start advertising to Americans from your Canadian base and expect immediate success. You need to spend some time with your “boots on the ground” conducting first-person research in potential new market areas in the U.S.

Also, remember that the United States is a huge market, so you must focus your limited resources. Most Canadian success stories in the U.S. result from niche, rather than broad, marketing efforts. Your company’s specific niche market in the U.S. consists only of those prospects you can reasonably afford to reach.

Interested in Doing Business in the USA?  

Learn from cross-border trade experts at the ‘Doing Business in the USA’ Cross-Border Seminar and Professional Briefing, how to remove border barriers, take advantage of the exchange rate and earn up to 20% extra on your US sales.  Key topics include US Sales & Distribution Strategies, US Customs & NAFTA Guidelines, US Business Travel / Immigration, Canadian Government Programs/Services and much more.  The next cross-border seminar will be May 7, 2015 in Delta, BC.  Registration and seminar details HERE.

Trade Tips Blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc.

UCanTrade Logo Frame Paths

Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Americans Are Spending. Canadians – Act Now!

By: UCanTrade Staff

Export Development Canada (EDC)’s Chief Economist, Peter Hall said in a recent EDC press release that the US Economic Growth is ‘spilling over’ into the global economy and combined with US industrial capacity constraints and the ‘Low-Loonie,’ among other variables, the EDC forecasts Canadian exports will grow 8 per cent by 2016.

“With the current economic conditions, the dollar … The time is now,” affirmed Google Canada’s country director Sam Sebastian, encouraging Canadian SMBs to seize their (online) export opportunities.  Google has reportedly partnered with the EDC to provide Canadians an online tool that will provide a “graphic and data-heavy picture of Canada’s key export markets.”  This will aid SMBs to better target potential international markets during key times such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday during the USA’s Thanksgiving holiday.

Unfortunately, Todd Winterhalt, EDC’s vice-president of international business development says, “with only 4 per cent of Canadian businesses exporting … [and] 60 per cent of Canada’s GDP dependent on trade … it’s a conversation that needs more attention.” Hall adds, “If ever there was a time for businesses, whether small, medium or large, to start exporting to the U.S., it’s now.” (Ref. Why US Sales Are a ‘No-Brainer’)
PiggyBank3

On May 7th, 2015, UCanTrade, Inc., and its “Doing Business in the USA” partners, will present a full day cross-border seminar and professional briefing in Delta, BC, to educate Canadian business owners and professionals how to remove border barriers, take advantage of the exchange rate and earn 20% extra on US sales.  Key Topics:  US Sales & Distribution, US Customs Guidelines, US Business Travel / Immigration and more.

Trade Tips Blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc.

UCanTrade Logo Frame Paths

Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Doing Business in the USA Seminar: Free at Cross-Border Expo ($200 value)

By: Elliott Smith

IMA President Jim Pettinger will be presenting the Doing Business in the USA Seminar on June 12, 2014 from 1:00 to 4:15 PM at Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa in Ferndale, WA as part of the Second Annual Cross-Border Expo.

Cross Border SeminarThe Doing Business in the USA Seminar, which normally costs $200 to attend, will be presented for free to attendees of the Cross-Border Expo. Registration is requested, but is complimentary. Pettinger’s seminar teaches Canadian entrepreneurs how to profitably enter the US market with their product or service, and how to leverage stateside resources available to British Columbia business professionals.

For almost 30 years, Pettinger’s Doing Business in the USA Seminar has helped innovative Canadian businesswomen and businessmen bring their product into the American market. Combining the latest technology and policy knowledge with timeless lessons of cross-border business, Pettinger’s seminar is not to be missed by any Canadian professional seeking to expand their operations to the USA.

Topics covered include:
• USA Marketing
• USA Distribution Logistics
• USA Business Identity
• Immigration and Travel Info
• Taxation and Business Planning
• Customs Clearance
• Legal/Business Formation
• And more

Seminar attendees will get the full benefit of Pettinger’s nearly three decades of experience in cross-border business, including “dos and don’t’s” and common mistakes to avoid when expanding to the USA.

The seminar will not be offered again until November 2014, and will cost around $200 CAD at that time. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn best practices for expanding your business to the United States. Register and attend the Doing Business in the USA Seminar at the 2014 Cross-Border Expo!

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Identity, Warehousing and Fulfillment Services
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: imawa@ucantrade.com


Doing Business in the USA: Full Day Seminar & Professional Briefing

By: IMA Staff

Interested in expanding your Lower Mainland or FraserValley business to the United States? Learn how on Thursday November 14 at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel in Surrey.

International Market Access, Inc. presents “Doing Business in the USA,” a full day seminar and professional briefing that contains all the information BC entrepreneurs need to get started selling stateside.

Cross Border SeminarThe USA is a huge and responsive market for both Canadian and imported products and services. This seminar is designed to help you understand the market, plan your approach, and suggest practical methods and alternatives for implementing your business and marketing plans. Key topics include: (1) dealing with “border issues”, such as U.S. travel and immigration planning, U.S. customs clearance, business planning, taxation, currency exchange and legal considerations; (2) understanding “logistics issues”, such as establishing a USA business identity, warehousing, transportation, fulfillment, and handling of returned goods; and (3) “sales/marketing strategies”, including market overview, sales/marketing fundamentals, lessons and pitfalls. A special new afternoon session will cover “Money, Money, Money!”. In addition, the seminar will feature “resource introductions”, including the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.

Since 1997, IMA’s seminars have helped over 4,000 British Columbia entrepreneurs learn how to profitably enter the USA market. The November 14 seminar will include the most up-to-date tips, tricks and tools of the cross-border business trade. This will be the last seminar offered in 2013, so don’t delay! Book your tickets today, before the seminar sells out.

Where: Surrey, BC – Sheraton Guildford Hotel

When: Thursday, November 14, 2013, 8:30am to 4:30pm

Cost:  $195 per person, pre-registered ($145 each for 2 or more)

          (If registered on/before Nov.8, deduct $25 per person.)

Media Release: Click here

Registration: Click here

Info:  Carol Jackson,  1-800-799-8848, dbusa@ucantrade.com

or visit www.ucantrade.com 

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Identity, Warehousing and Fulfillment Services
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: imawa@ucantrade.com