One barrier unique to SMEs is the lack of resources.
Large businesses have all kinds of divisions and services, human resources, and the ability to hire consultants to fill any in-house gaps.
However, as we heard a few minutes ago, the people who work for SMEs are often called upon to wear many hats. In an SME, the positions of director of human resources, vice-president of business development and manager of operations can all be held by a single person.
This certainly makes it harder to take on the added challenges associated with exports. The external financial resources available can be a major advantage for an SME that is deciding whether or not to get into exports. Businesses must also consider that exports are part of a broad, comprehensive process. Businesses cannot simply try exporting to a new country because a new free trade agreement was signed. There must be consistency, and it is more difficult for SMEs to have comprehensive strategic plans that are reconfirmed every year or every three years. All of these aspects make the process more challenging for SMEs.
I can also talk about fact-finding missions abroad to better understand an export market. It is more difficult for SMEs to do this, because they have fewer resources and the tariffs can be higher for smalls business than for large ones.
If the tariffs could be adjusted based on the size of the business, SMEs could have greater access to fact-finding missions on an export market.
My colleague may have more to add.