Nadja’s presentation at Unleashing the Power of the Mega-Region will offer plenty of guidance and answer many questions for those wishing to explore the potential of the Mega-Region. She encourages companies to give it a try and offers some tips to consider in getting started.
Know the territory – Just as a business would in any new market in their own country, companies should understand their customer throughout the region. Do the research to learn about tastes and preferences. Understand the various differences that exist between each of the cities within the Mega-Region.
Understand the regulations – Nadja notes it is impossible to learn every regulation in the U.S. or Canada regarding cross border trade. That is why it is critical to work with the experts – customs brokers, accountants, legal advisers, and others. Crossing the “t’s” and dotting the “i’s” will ensure smooth sailing.
Use the Internet – There’s a reason it’s called the worldwide web – the Internet enables even small business to go international. For market research, reaching out to potential customers, and finding other information on the CanAm market, web sites and social media are key.
Network – Talk to other businesses conducting business in the Mega-Region. Attend networking events and join business groups focused on harnessing the potential of the CanAm marketplace. Nadja has found people throughout the region to be very generous with their time and advice.
Look at the challenges differently – Nadja says like any business transaction, cross border trade presents challenges. She uses the imbalance of the U.S. and Canadian dollar as an example. While the dollar goes up and down, there are many factors that level it out and make doing business in the international region attractive. Labor and materials are sometimes cheaper. Shipping and fuel costs may be less expensive. The currency issues have never been a deal breaker for Nadja Foods.
The best advice.
Nadja says her best advice for a business looking to get involved in the Mega-Region is the same as she would give to any business person – put the highest value on your personal life.
“In 2006, I was diagnosed with leukemia and was out of commission for a long period of time,” she says. “It made me realize nothing is more important than family and that your business should never consume you. My recovery also taught me that you can bounce back from the trials and tribulations…in life and in business.”
Expanding a business into the CanAm market should not mean giving up personal time to make it happen. Still, Nadja encourages businesses to try it, noting it is not only for big companies.
“There is plenty of opportunity for everyone and it is very doable,” she concludes. “My company would not be where it is today if I had not expanded to serve new customers on both sides of the border.”
For more information on the event, please contact Catherine Muth, Manager, CanAm and Government Affairs.