HOUSTON - Mexico is the nation's largest trading-partner, worth more than $600 billion each year. As some Mexican companies try to help that number grow, they are finding some help from someone who's already made the journey.
One product that become well-known, in Mexico, is True Organics agave syrup. The company has a long-term goal to be on U.S. store shelves, too, and tried to make that happen a little over a year ago.
"We thought that we could go in easily, because we can speak English, but we learned it's not only the language barrier; there's a culture barrier, too," says True Organics finance director Diego Alcala.
He says the company needed help moving forward with its plan.
'You've got to be humble," says Edmundo Trevino, "You can be the 'King of Mexico', but you're nobody in the U.S. Nobody knows your brand; nobody knows your product."
Trevino has been doing business in the United States for 20 years. As the pandemic took hold, he started his latest venture as a business coach, to help Mexican and Latin American companies find their way in the United States.
Trevino says the lessons of his successes and failures can help navigate a transition to the U.S., where the business culture and costs can be very different.
"It's a blend of cultures, here," he says, "When we come here, everything changes. So you have to adapt your product; you offer; your service to this market."
True Organics is one of the companies that's taken that advice, with plans to begin operations from a warehouse on Houston's east side. Once a staff is hired, their goal to grow U.S. sales will be one step closer to putting their challenges behind them.
"It was much more comfortable to think about it, with some help," says Alcala.
Trevino says the United States is 'big deal' for Mexican companies that want to grow their business. So far, he's working with nearly 10 of them, to realize that goal. In the future, he plans to start helping U.S. companies that might want to grow their businesses south of the border.