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Key Advice To Small Business Owners For 2021 by Emiliano Introcaso

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Emiliano Introcaso, CITP, P.Log., CCI, MBA Export Advisor at Export Development Canada (EDC)

Emiliano has close to two decades of experience working with manufacturers and exporters looking to increase their global growth by providing them with support and guidance in all things export.

His strategy not only focuses on navigating companies through the complexities of global supply chains but also on the small details that can make or break an international trade transaction. Emiliano is an Export Advisor at Export Development Canada (EDC), a Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) with the Forum For International Trade Training (FITT), an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Registered Trainer on Incoterms® 2020, and a Certified Instructor (CCI) with the Canadian International Freight Forwarding Association (CIFFA). Emiliano completed a Master of Business Administration (Global Leadership stream) at the University of Fredericton.


What is your key advice to small business owners for 2021? 

The year 2020 will be one to remember for many reasons, and with the arrival of the vaccinations, many businesses will go back to somewhat of a new normal. SMEs have demonstrated their resilience, and they have adapted to new challenges. Although not every SME was able to make it, those that adopted changes were able to withstand the storm that COVID-19 brought during the past year. If your SME has already been able to benefit from many of the Government of Canada’s COVID financial support, loans and access to credit, I want to share with you a simple recipe of advice that is key to your business, and that will help you succeed in 2021 and beyond:  Sales, Marketing, and Exports.


Sales

Have you been using the same sales strategy for the last decade? How can you increase your sales?  These are some of the questions that if you haven’t asked yourself, you should.  As you develop your sales strategy for this year, you should look at rewriting your sales proposals, and forecasting which products or services will need to be revamped, recycled, or removed from your business. There might be some of them, that might no longer be worth keeping.  Take the time to analyze those sales, and if they don’t need to be in your business anymore, make that decision!.  I’d say, less is more.


 Marketing

In 2021 you should review and update your marketing plan (or develop it if you don’t already have one!).  There might be new marketing strategies you will discover that your SME could implement. Redefine your market, revamp your marketing budget by investing in digital strategies, and reposition your products or services that make the most profit for your company. Concentrating on your biggest money makers is one of the marketing strategies that big companies out there consider. Where can you find a marketing plan template? You can visit BDC’s Templates and Business Guides to get you started!


Exports

The last piece of this recipe of advice is to research which of your products or services are exportable.  Although not be an easy task, moving into a new market can bring potential risks, but learning about them, as well as understanding the exporting process will help you to select a market entry strategy into new markets. The Forum For International Trade Training (FITT) & Export Development Canada (EDC) has published FITTskills Lite Series. These sets of simple export guides provide you with the knowledge you need, to understand the different aspects of exporting, to help you enter new markets with confidence.

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