Global expansion is a goal for many business owners, but building a global brand requires a solid export strategy. TAP Calgary works to bridge the gap between Albertan businesses and global markets with export-focused training.
Canadian companies have a major advantage on the world stage, since goods and services from Canada are perceived to be reliable, high-quality, and backed by superior customer service. That gives Canadian business owners an edge when it comes to the prospect of global expansion. However, successfully taking a brand to international markets beyond the U.S. requires an understanding of the complex global trade ecosystem, international best practices, a network of trustworthy connections, and a thorough export plan, to name a few.
That’s where the Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) can help. TAP Calgary, serving businesses in Calgary and southern Alberta, arms business owners with all of the above through a series of in-depth workshop sessions with trade and industry experts. As a division of TAP Canada, TAP Calgary was designed following the World Trade Centre Toronto’s trade accelerator curriculum.
The world needs more Canada
Bringing Canadian products and services to a global market isn’t just good for Canadian business owners — it’s good for the world. With Canada’s stringent quality assurance practices and reputation for being a force for social good, it’s time business owners in Calgary and beyond recognized how much they have to offer in the global marketplace.
TAP gives business owners the tools to expand both domestically and internationally, with a strong focus on overcoming export barriers. The proof is in the numbers — 70% of Canadian companies that have completed the TAP program are now exporting in international markets. They’ve also reported an average 33% growth in export sales a year after the course.
Goodlawyer, a digital platform that connects its customers to Canadian lawyers, graduated from TAP in December 2019 and enjoyed 100% growth month-over-month since then. During the pandemic, in a classic display of Canadian values, the company offered free 15-minute legal advice sessions to help businesses navigate new regulations around the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Ontopical — a platform that holds hundreds of thousands of documents concerning public policy and best practices — has opened to government employees for free in an effort to help inform policy decisions during the pandemic. Ontopical also graduated from TAP in December and has since locked down a deal with the Alberta Chamber of Commerce. It’s now looking to expand its business into California’s Bay Area.
Leaps in domestic and international sales are the norm for TAP grads
Canadian businesses excel across multiple sectors. Calgary-based Banded Peak Brewery was acquired by Labatt Breweries of Canada a month after graduating from TAP. The business and product line will remain the same, but now have the enormous benefit of Labatt’s multinational distribution network. Colin McLean, Banded Peak’s head of marketing, says that TAP prepared the business for its multinational success, and he’s already recommended the TAP program to several other local breweries.
The first step to international growth is often local expansion. Leaders at Bessie’s Box, a service specializing in local meat and seafood delivery, used the training they received at TAP to build a supply chain that connects producers, processors, and customers with just $45,000. They sold $25,000 worth of products to 160 customers in their first six months of business, and are now looking to increase sales and create new partnerships.
Looking to go global? Whether it’s your first look at global expansion or you’re forming a proactive plan for future growth, TAP can help your business reach its full potential. To learn more about how TAP Calgary can support your business in its export strategy and global expansion, visit Calgary Economic Development or email Shona Reilly.