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Nova Box 1

Nova Box: Thinking outside the box

Monday, October 15, 2018

Whether you’re a new start-up or an established business, growing a company often follows a similar gameplan: find new customers, make more sales. To do that, business owners need to look beyond their backyard and explore larger markets across Canada and the rest of the world. Understanding the ins and outs of doing business in a new place is where things can get complicated. For Allyson England, founder of Cedardog Distribution and creator of Nova Box, practical and insightful export education has been an important building block for her business.  

“Exporting is a lot more than putting product in a box and sending it out of Canada. There are so many things to consider; due diligence, knowing the culture, legal implications, figuring out how your product fits into the market, protecting yourself through insurance. For a small business owner, understanding these things is really all about mitigating risk. I looked into export education because I have a long-term vision for my business.”  

Since 2016, Nova Box has been curating Nova Scotia products and selling their specialty gift boxes not only locally, but across Canada and into the US and Europe. The company also works with local businesses to create custom boxes filled with made-in-Nova Scotia goods for their clients, partners, and employees. In its short history, Nova Box has shipped to every province and territory in the country and has worked with more than 50 different vendors.  

“The FITTskills courses have lots of great information, especially for a sole proprietor like myself. You really need to get the information quickly. The material is very well organized and broken into topic-specific sessions. It is really relevant if you want to understand how it all works - wholesalers, distributors, and the movement of goods. It also helps you understand who the players are and where to go for help. I now know who to call.” 

As the company continues to grow and the brand gains more recognition in Canada, Allyson is eyeing the US market, using her export education to assess the company’s readiness for international expansion. Thanks to FITTskills, she now has a long-term strategy and a step-by-step plan. “We now have a plan for entry strategies, positioning, and marketing. The access to expertise is so important. Everyone has been very willing to help.”  

Could your business use more international export know-how? Visit our events page to see the upcoming Export Development Education and FITTskills, or reach out to a Regional Business Development Advisor.