Exporting can be a great way to expand your business and increase profitability.
It can also help to spread risk and reduce dependence on your local market. Exporting exposes you to new ideas, marketing techniques and ways of competing you can’t experience at home. The skills you develop in foreign markets will also help you to better compete in the domestic market.
It is important to seek advice about what’s involved, consider the risks, decide if it is financially viable and conduct research in your chosen markets.
The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) provides help to small businesses to grow their business through exporting. Austrade’s guide to exporting provides practical information on a range of topics including:
- developing an export strategy
- export pricing
- market research, including visiting the market
- risk management
- freight and logistics
- managing sales
- agents and distributors
- getting paid
- legal issues.
Austrade can help with information on export markets and free trade agreements. They also administer the Export Market Development Grants scheme and TradeStart program.
Western Australian Government
The Western Australian Government currently operates trade and investment offices around the world, including in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific region.
Free and confidential services for export ready companies are available including:
- information, such as economic trends, trade statistics and market analysis, market demand, market competition, import compliance, rules and regulations
- contacts and introductions, including advice on overseas programs, associations, government, regulators and supply chain
- marketing advice, including business culture, as specific to different countries and regions.
These overseas offices, together with the International Trade and Investment Division located in Perth support Western Australia’s export industries.
Export Finance and Insurance Corporation
The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation provides financial support to Australian based companies that are exporting, in the global supply chain or seeking to grow internationally. Use their online tool to guide you through the exporter journey.
The International Chamber of Commerce has developed a set of terms (Incoterms) to make it easier to negotiate trade between countries; they are important when quoting delivery prices for goods to be delivered by pallet or container load.
Deciding if you are ready to export
Once you have conducted market research and obtained professional advice you may be ready to start exporting.
Austrade’s simple international readiness indicator provides a good overview of whether you are ready to export. It will also provide suggestions of how to address areas needing more work.
Taking your product or service to international markets
You will need to consider how to launch and promote your product or service in a new market, including:
Building strong business networks
Having the right contacts and knowledge of your industry are essential. You can build your networks by attending Austrade events and through the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA.
Understanding the local language and culture
It is important to be aware of the local culture and customs in the country to which you are planning to export; Austrade has market profiles to assist you.
Developing a marketing strategy
How you enter a new market is important and will vary depending on your product or service. Options could include participating in trade shows or events, presenting to buyer groups, engaging local distributors, and advertising online and in print.
Providing after-sales service and support
The strength of your after-sales service will help to ensure the sustainability of your export business. Plan how you will service your client’s needs in their time zone and address any local issues.
- The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has more information on trade and investment.
- The Export Council of Australia has an online 7-stage for export roadmap for people new to exporting.
- Understand the customs requirements for exporting goods from Australia.
- Visit the Department of Agriculture’s Exporting from Australia page.
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