What does CALA stand for?

CALA is a commonly used business acronym for the Caribbean (CA) and Latin American (LA) markets.

Do you have plans for different budgets/phases? How long will it take before we see results and ROI?

Many factors go into determining the length of time and return on investment. We offer short, medium, and long term planning programs so you go at the speed that best suits the resources you allot to your campaign. Once we have an initial consultation and understand more of your business, we can give you a better idea on the what, where and when.

Is the expenditure of hiring a firm worth it or can we do this ourselves?

There is traditionally a steep learning curve in entering the Latin American market. How long will it take for a person from your company to get up to speed on doing business in the region? Because of the numerous countries in CALA, many companies have gone through a period of trial and error, losing both time and money. Many have failed. Just hiring a person who speaks Spanish has not been the answer. Hiring a firm such as CALA-Tec who has the experience and knowledge in Latin America pays for itself and will save money.

What are your recommended first steps?

CALA-Tec offers a no cost, no obligation first consultation to help us understand your products, services, business and goals. Based on that, we can provide a rough outline on your options as well as how and where to start.

Should we have concerns about economic instability and personal security?

Let’s be honest. Yes, there are some problems in some countries, especially in rural areas. But for the most part you won’t need to worry about personal safety any more than you might in one of the large cities in the US. We encourage travel into the territory with us for personalized visits with prospects and customers to see what we mean firsthand.

Which countries should we enter into and which countries should we start with?

Because of their economic stability and many opportunities we suggest following the list below. However, this is not set in stone. Once we do the first consultation with you, we will have an even better idea.
a. Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Brazil more selectively
b. Peru, Ecuador, Chile
c. Select Central American and Caribbean countries

What’s involved with opening an office in the region?

Each country has slightly different regulations, though all with straightforward processes. We often recommend starting with manufacturers’ representatives before establishing a local office. We can also help in recommending management and salesforce once you are ready.

Should I sell through distribution, directly to dealers or end users or through retail?

That is to be determined after we have our first consultation and move forward. Each case may be different. The answer to the question is one of the most valuable services we offer and key to start. Most companies are not sure where to begin and each country may be different.

Is it advantageous to manufacturer locally or import?

Again, it may depend on your product and the market. Keep in mind that each country is different when it comes to manufacturing locally and importation. For instance, import fees range on average in Brazil (110%) and as low as 1% in Mexico. It is also important to consider the trade pacts between the US and Latin American countries such as Nafta, Mecosur, CAFTA, CACM, CARICOM, FTA, TPA, among others.

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