The most common phrase I’ve heard from companies deciding not to get into exporting is that they don’t have the expertise. And hiring the expertise is very expensive with no return on that investment in the short term.

To a certain extent, this is true. You do need to invest in international up front to eventually obtain revenue from new markets. Signing a new distributor and onboarding them can take 6 to 12 months. So hiring a full time senior executive that speaks multiple languages and can target and build international distribution networks can be daunting.

But companies that export see increased revenue growth, often 20 to 40 percent higher than domestic only companies, according to EDC. So eventually, the return is realized. But how to get over that 6 to 12 months of money in but no money out?

The reality is, most new exporters will struggle to sell into more than 2 or 3 new markets. And having more than one distributor in a new market is standard practice. So what else is the new VP International expected to get done?… typically they are tasked with domestic sales activities, which distract and take away from international relationship development.

What companies really need is access to the expertise and on-the-ground experience that a seasoned international sales executive brings to the table. But only part-time and in bite sized chunks that control costs.

Introducing fractional international business development. Having a EVP level business development resource validating international markets, identifying new distributors and building out initial sales & success stories. But at a fraction of the cost.

Hiring a full time VP is a challenge. Negotiating for months can cost a lot of money spent on recruitment. A full time salary at a minimum of 6 months. Benefits. Perks, if you need to get them into the office in an age of remote. Tens of thousands of dollars on what might not see a return for a year.

Or, hire a fractional international business development specialist that can start next week and have distributors signed up in months. Part-time, at a third of the cost.

Canada has very few international specialists, and in the current hiring challenges, even fewer that are willing to relocate, take on a full time job or even listen to recruiter pitches. It’s time that Canadian businesses started fully taking advantage of the gig economy and getting the best possible resources at the most convenient price.

Fractional hiring is a great way to manage international growth. Contact Exportspark today to have a chat about how we can help.