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    July 2003 - Issue 14 Feedback
In this Issue
We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to Carolyn Gaunt from Sexsmith, who won our E-News! First Anniversary Sweepstake and its prize: a Hamilton Beach platinum edition coffeemaker!

For those of you who are still wondering if you answered the 4 multiple choice questions correctly, here are the answers:

Q: Which web site is "the window through which Canadian businesses of all sizes can access contracting opportunities with the federal government and from participating provincial governments and MASH (municipal, academic, school and hospital)."?

Q: What is the name of The Business Link's program which allows you to "discuss your business concerns in confidence, either in person or over the phone, with volunteer professionals"?
A: The Guest Advisor Program

Q: The Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings increased on January 1, 2003. What is the new limit?
A: $39,900

Q: What is the theme of this season's (Sept. 2002 to June 2003) series of Brown Bag Sessions from the Quality Council of Alberta?
A: Performance

Thank you to all of our subscribers who participated in the Anniversary Sweepstake and congratulations again to our winner!

Want to Learn More about E-Business?

The Business Link's E-Future Centre is about to launch its new on-line newsletter: the "Alberta E-Business Bulletin".

We will be sending you its first issue in the next few days, to give you an idea of its content and how you could benefit from subscribing to it.

If you wish to continue receiving the "Alberta E-Business Bulletin", please sign up on-line. The E-Future Centre will then send you updates every two months.

Our own export expert!

The Business Link's staff are continually being trained and updated on business information to better help our clients. One area of training is international trade, a specialized field that requires a distinct set of skills, knowledge and contacts to serve the needs of new and potential exporters.

We're pleased to announce that our own Gaëlle Gagné recently received an international trade diploma from the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) and was honoured with the Student of the Year Award for receiving the highest overall marks of FITTskills' students across Canada. Way to go, Gaëlle!

Meet the Link

Jim Coulson

Jim Coulson is one of the library technicians in charge of our award-winning small business library. Graduate from the Information Management and Library Technologies program at Grant MacEwan Community College, Jim has been working at The Business Link for the past three years providing outstanding service to clients conducting market research, sourcing clients and suppliers, or simply looking for the best resources on a specific business topic.

Jim can be reached at (780) 427-2800 or by e-mail at: coulson.jim@


Unfortunately, we provided the wrong e-mail and web site addresses for Business Development Centre West (BDCWest) in our last issue of E-News!

Business Development Centre West is one of our 34 Regional Access Sites serving small and medium sized businesses in the areas of Airdrie, Banff, Canmore, Carstairs, Cochrane, Crossfield, Redwood Meadows, M.D. of Bighorn, M.D. of Rocky View and west of Highway 2.

Business Development Centre West can be reached at:

#6, 205 - 1 Street E
Cochrane, Alberta T4C 1X6
Phone: (403) 932-5220
Fax: (403) 627-3035
E-mail: bdcwest@nucleus.com
Web site:

Talk to Us!

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Cliquez ici pour accéder, ou vous abonner à ce bulletin électronique en français.
Welcome to a new issue of E-News! from The Business Link. Whether this is your first time to receive E-News!, or you've been with us from the first issue, we hope you will enjoy this quick monthly e-newsletter. Our goal is to keep you informed of upcoming events and services at The Business Link and other items of interest to Alberta's small business community.

Your feedback is welcome at any time to help us improve and enhance our services for Alberta entrepreneurs. Simply click on the "Feedback" icon located at the top of E-News! to send us your views.


Upcoming Events

Explore Export Opportunities in the United States for Consumer Products

Industry Canada's International Trade Centre, in conjunction with Trade Team Alberta, is pleased to be hosting a 5-day tour of Alberta to reach consumer products companies seriously interested in exporting to the United States. Participation will provide you with the opportunity to:

  • Gather intelligence about the US consumer products market
  • Meet Canadian Trade Commissioners from Atlanta and Los Angeles and learn how they can help you exporting to the US
  • Learn about the Program for Export Market Development (PEMD) and how it can help fund US marketing initiatives
  • Demonstrate your product
  • Network with other members of the community

The week will include the following sessions:
July 21, 2003 - Grande Prairie
At the Trumpeter Hotel & Meeting Centre from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
July 22, 2003 - Edmonton
At the Winspear Centre from 8:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
July 23, 2003 - Canmore
At the Howard Johnson Hotel from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
July 24, 2003 - Calgary
At Place 800 Conference Facility from 8:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
July 25, 2003 - Lethbridge
At the Lethbridge Lodge from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

For more information or to register, contact:
Grande Prairie, Edmonton and Canmore: Erin Wilkinson at (780) 495-4413 or by e-mail at wilkinson.erin@ic.gc.ca,
Calgary and Lethbridge: Rebecca Gates at (403) 292-6070 or by e-mail at gates.rebecca@ic.gc.ca.

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Business Article

10 Steps to Successful Exporting

by Team Canada Inc

Canadian exporters are succeeding in markets around the world, yet they will be the first to tell you it is not simple. These 10 steps can help you move your export efforts from start to success:

1. Make a commitment to exporting.
Exporting takes time, resources and commitment. The Export Diagnostic from Team Canada Inc (available online at exportsource.ca/diagnostic) is designed to help exporters assess their strengths, weaknesses, objectives and strategies as they explore opportunities in foreign markets.

2. Plan, plan, plan. The secret to export success is preparation and a carefully researched export plan. It can help you implement your marketing and promotion strategies, obtain financial assistance or locate investors or partners. The Interactive Export Planner (exportsource.ca/iep) is a comprehensive online system for developing an export plan.

3. Conduct research. Thorough market research helps you make sound export marketing decisions by giving you a clear picture of the economic, political and cultural factors that affect your ability to sell your product or service. ExportSource.ca provides trade statistics, market and industry information, even potential partners and trade leads.

4. Devise marketing strategies for your target market. International marketing is not the same as domestic marketing. International customers will frequently have different tastes, needs and customs. As a component of the international marketing plan, effective marketing strategies help the exporter understand and address these potential differences. Your plan will need to address numerous factors beyond product, price, promotion and place. Payment (international transactions and currency exchanges), paperwork (increased documentation), practices (different cultural, social and business styles), partnerships and protection (increased risks relating payment, intellectual property or travel) are critical issues in foreign markets.

5. Enter the market. There are as many market entry strategies as there are markets; however, these strategies can be loosely grouped into three categories: Direct exporting - selling directly to the customer - is often used in accessible markets such as the United States. Indirect exporting - employing a distributor or foreign agent to sell and market your goods - is frequently used to enter new markets that are less familiar to the exporter. Team Canada Inc's Step-by-Step Guide to Exporting includes a checklist on selecting a foreign agent or distributor (see below for more information). The third market entry strategy involves strategic partnerships with other companies or individuals with complementary skills and capabilities. A partner can often provide the insight, contacts and expertise that fill the gap in your export readiness.

6. Get your product or service to market. Every market has its own set of rules and regulations covering safety, health, security, packaging and labeling, customs and duties, among other things. These rules and regulations may vary depending on the product or service you are exporting. Know the rules before you ship your goods or open your foreign business location.

7. Explore financing options. Financial stability and a secure cash flow are critical when entering a foreign market. Know your financing options. Develop a thorough financial plan to understand and address the diverse costs associated with exporting.

8. Understand the legal issues. Exporting exposes Canadian businesses to unfamiliar laws and regulations. It is important to understand your rights and obligations when resolving disputes, selling goods or services and protecting intellectual property.

9. Put it into practice. It is time to put all this skill and knowledge to use. The world is waiting for your product or service!

10. Let Team Canada Inc (TCI) help you along the way. TCI is committed to helping businesses across the country thrive in global markets by offering comprehensive export information and services for both new and experienced exporters.

This information is drawn from the "Step-by-Step Guide to Exporting". To obtain a copy online, visit www.exportsource.ca. For additional information on exporting, call the Team Canada Inc Export Information Service at The Business Link at 1 888 811-1119 (toll-free).

Copyright © 2003 Team Canada Inc

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Feature Web Site

Do you know that new privacy law regulations will soon require you to make significant changes to your organization to protect personal information? Think about all the names, addresses, phone numbers and other personal data your company requests on a daily basis. The new Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act applies to this information, and how you collect it, use it and disclose it.

According to the Act and starting January 1, 2004, businesses will have to obtain an individual's consent when they collect, use or disclose personal information. Individuals have a right to access personal information held by an organization and to challenge its accuracy, if need be. Personal information can only be used for the purposes for which it was collected. If an organization is going to use it for another purpose, consent must be obtained again. Individuals should also be assured that their information will be protected by specific safeguards, including measures such as locked cabinets, computer passwords or encryption.

For more information on your privacy responsibilities, visit the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's web site at: www.privcom.gc.ca. This useful site will give you access to privacy legislation, publications, links and tips to help your understand and meet your new obligations, including the "Guide for Businesses and Organizations to Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act".

For more legal web links and other useful links to additonal sources of business information, visit our web site at: www.cbsc.org/alberta/tbl.cfm?fn=weblinks.

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Regional Access Site in the Spotlight

The Business Link works in partnership with over 30 Regional Access Sites located throughout the province, plus the Calgary Business Information Centre (CBIC), to provide information and resources to Alberta entrepreneurs. To find the closest Regional Access Site in your area, visit our web site at: www.cbsc.org/alberta/regional.cfm.

One of these Regional Access Sites is Lakeland Community Development Corporation.

Lakeland Community Development Corporation is committed to doing everything possible to put the odds in your favour and help you build your business. This organization offers counselling services and technical assistance to new and existing businesses for the Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Zone II Regional Council-Métis Nation of Alberta Association and the following communities: M.D. of Bonnyville, Town of Bonnyville, City of Cold Lake, Village of Glendon, Kehewin Cree Nation, Cold Lake First Nation, Frog Lake First Nation, Elizabeth Métis Settlement and Fishing Lake Métis Settlement.

Counselling assistance includes: management advisory services,
market plan development, assistance with feasibility studies, information on business courses, information on government programs and services, and financial planning assistance. Lakeland Community Development Corporation also has an important Reference Library which offers a wealth of information to help you plan, start and manage your business.

Lakeland Community Development Corporation provides financing to entrepreneurs and existing business owners who are unable to obtain conventional financing. Entrepreneurs starting their own business, purchasing a business or expanding an existing business in the region can access funds up to $125,000 under its General Loan Fund. The other financing programs available are the Western Youth Entrepreneurship Program and the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program. Lakeland Community Development Corporation also trains new and potential entrepreneurs through its Small Business Training Workshops on "How to Start A Small Business".

EmployAbilities is co-located in the Lakeland Community Development Corporation's space, which gives their clients access to the entire business library, including an adjustable workstation and enhanced software programs to meet the needs of disabled clients.

For more information, contact Lakeland Community Development Corporation at:

201, 5016 50 Avenue
P.O. Box 8114
Bonnyville, Alberta T9N 2J4
Phone: (780) 826-3858
Fax: (780) 826-7330
E-mail: lcdc@telusplanet.net
Web site: www.lcdc.ab.ca

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The Business Link Business Service Centre
100-10237 104 Street NW Edmonton, AB T5J 1B1
Business Info Line: 780-422-7722 or 1-800-272-9675
Fax: 780-422-0055
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