Crossing Borders

So you want to expand your Vancouver-based card factory production business but you've officially milked your home province for everything you can get. You're selling your cards to stores in Victoria, Abbotsford, Coquitlam, Prince George, Kamloops, Nanaimo and half a dozen other towns in British Columbia that no one's even heard of. Before you start calculating how much it would cost to truck great loads of heavy paper over the Rocky Mountains into Alberta, pull down those walls in your mind that are keeping you in-country and think Washington and Oregon. Business Cards aren't just something we need in Canada, after all.

Crossing national borders to sell product happens every single day to great profit for all types of businesses across North America. With the North American Free Trade agreement, there's nowhere on the continent that's out of bounds for your business. Got a factory in Nova Scotia that makes aquarium test kits? Well there are plenty of towns with aquarium supply or pet stores on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States that you could sell to with less shipping trouble than you would have getting them over to Newfoundland by ferry!

One thing to remember, though, when marketing your goods outside of your comfort zone, is to do your research. You want to make sure you don't waste your time promoting your products in an area that has no use for them. For instance, if you specialize in expensive formalwear like Alfred Sung wedding dresses, you wouldn't have much luck marketing them in poor towns in central Mexico. Conversely, fashionable cities like New York or San Francisco are probably already saturated with such garments and would be unlikely to bite on your proposal. Instead, focus on places like Puerto Vallarta or Cancun that get a lot of wealthy elopers in need of formalwear but aren't big or important enough to have their own market already.

The actual act of crossing the border may seem like a huge hassle to you, but if you have all your paperwork in order and your goods packaged properly, you can avoid those pesky border searches that eat up so much valuable time and money. Trucking products isn't the only way to transport your products, either. Some more in-demand or higher end items like drug testing supplies can be flown in via air freight or placed on trains with relative ease to get them to hospitals and sporting events at short notice.

The most important thing about cross-border shipping, whether you're transporting special canvases for elephant painting or heat shrink tubing for high-end construction suppliers, is to maintain transparency in all your dealings. Don't think you can fool either the tax agency in your own country or the one in the country you're shipping to. It's been tried before and it never works out. You also don't want to get slammed by either government for violating a law you've never heard of, so do your research and keep good records and you should be fine.

Copyright © 2007 - Industry Innovation -

Friday, November 17, 2017