Posts Tagged ‘market research’

CanExport Funding Increased and Expanded

CanExport is a government funding program that provides funding to Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to support new export market development.

As of August 22, 2019, the CanExport project funding limit for SMEs will be increased up to $75,000 to cover up to 75% of eligible expenses.

Previously, the CanExport program excluded the agriculture and food processing sectors, since companies in these industries were already eligible for export funding through the AgriMarketing program. However, as of August 22, 2019, the program will also be expanded to support companies from Canada’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-products industry, including fish and seafood.

Eligible activities need to exceed the company’s core activities and focus on promoting international business development. These may include business travel costs, exhibitions at trade shows, market research, adaptation of marketing materials for new markets, and legal fees associated with a distribution/representation agreement.

In order to be eligible for funding through the CanExport program companies must have 1-500 full-time employees and $100,000-$100,000,000 in annual revenue declared in Canada. The CanExport program is open to companies in all sectors. Eligible markets include countries (and in some cases, regions) where the applicant has achieved less than $100,000 or less than 10% of the company’s total sales in that market in their last completed tax year.

For more information on the CanExport program and other sources of funding, please contact us.

Trade Show Funding Deadline Extended

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has released an update to the Export Market Access (EMA) program informing applicants that they will be accepting applications for trade shows that occur before June 30, 2017.

Do you have a global mindset but think your company is too small to be an exporter? Well, think again.

Recognizing that some companies naturally have a global mindset early on in their development, the EMA program was established to help small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access and expand their growth in foreign markets.

Through the EMA program,  companies can receive funding of up to 50% for a maximum of $30,000 towards eligible activities including international trade show attendance, development of marketing tools, investment in market research, and participation in foreign bidding projects.

Interested applicants are encouraged to review the new Application Guide, released in January 2017, to ensure that they meet eligibility requirements, or contact our government funding experts directly, for a free consultation.

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Exporting to New Emerging Markets

The current emerging economies that businesses are aspiring to export to are Brazil, Russia, India and China or more commonly known as BRIC. However a recent article in the Toronto Star indicates that Mexico and other Latin American countries are the new hot markets businesses should be pursuing. Cited from research done by Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), the article mentions that the BRIC should no longer be considered as emerging markets, while countries such as Mexico, Chile, Peru and Columbia represent the new budding markets for Canadian businesses. This development can be attributed to recent free trade agreements between Canada and the aforementioned countries, and the rise of the middle-class within these countries.

The Canadian government offers several funding initiatives to assist businesses expand their reach into global markets. The Export Market Access (EMA) fund provides companies with up to $30,000 of eligible costs to develop marketing tools (i.e. promotional materials, electronic media), attend trade shows, as well as complete market research on developing new export opportunities. Export Development Canada (EDC) strongly recommends businesses do the proper research before plunging into foreign markets. This includes understanding the trade laws, local laws and the customs and regulations of the country. The EDC and other government institutions provide several resources to assist businesses reach their exporting goals,  in conjunction to the Canadian funding that is available to offset some of the costs associated to exporting.

Market Research – Why?

The general purpose of market research is to provide the organization with relevant, accurate information about it’s consumers and the competitive environment. This benefits a company in many aspects of the business, and can ultimately save the company time, effort and money.

Benefit #1 – You get to know your customer
When first starting a business, or launching a new product, you first need to determine if there is a market for this product or service. This is where market research comes in. By completing surveys, collecting statistics and product testing, you will learn who will use your product, where they are, what they like, and where to advertise that will get their attention. Often if you test the product with your target consumer, you will discover ways that consumers use your product that you hadn’t even considered – which in turn builds your marketing and aids in advertising endeavors.

Benefit #2 – Referrals
In completing your market research, you will have developed a database of names, addresses and phone numbers. Not only are these people that participated in your surveys, these are your customers, and your sales people! After completing a survey if you were to send out a simple “thanks for participating” postcard, you’ll leave an impression with this consumer. Not only will this make them more likely to buy from you, either for the first time or again, but if your product is successful, they will refer friends and family to it. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing, and market research is another way to get your name out there.

Benefit #3 – Enhanced Products
Market research can help you to determine more about your consumer, but it can also tell you more about your product. What would your customers change about your product? Is the packaging keeping the product safe, and yet still appealing to them? Is there something missing from the instructions? Market Research can help lead you to product development, and continue to better your company and products.

Benefit #4 – You can save money!!
Market research can save you from making a poor investment. While market research is an investment in itself, spending the time to learn that no one really wants to use aerosol toothpaste isn’t such a bad idea. When you consider the costs of market research, think of it this way – You COULD pay whatever it costs for market research, OR you could spend the money to produce the aerosol toothpaste, it’s packaging, as well as put money into storage, shipping to stores, sales people to find the stores to distribute, and the advertising and marketing campaigns. Which do you think would be more cost effective? Saving yourself from a failed product launch, or dealing with the aftermath?

Remember to keep your market research on the priority list. Some things that appear to be good ideas, are easily rejected by the consumers, and can end up being very costly. While I personally have nothing against clear cola, the market likes what it likes, and brutally rejects what it doesn’t.


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  • NorthBridge Consultants' Government Funding Blog is dedicated to bringing businesses news and information to help them identify and access the most appropriate government funding programs.

    We offer opinions and insider information that can provide a pulse on government initiatives, the health of the Canadian economy, and firsthand thoughts from Canadian business owners.

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