How do I know if export is right for me?

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The decision to export, or enter into an export-related contract, is a great opportunity for many businesses to grow and expand sales, but it is not right for every business.

Before entering into export activity, you should address the following considerations to decide whether export is right for you:

Management commitment and resources

Expanding or investing overseas takes a lot of work. Do you have the right senior team in place to drive and support everything that is needed to make it work?

Financial resources*

Setting up export operations in a new market and dealing with overseas buyers will take a toll on finances. Have you considered how you will finance your business growth?

Market entry

Knowing demand exists is only the first step.  Have you assessed your market entry options and requirements to set up  operations in a new country?

Export experience

The ability to draw on the export learnings of others is invaluable. Do you have staff or a network of contacts with export experience you can tap into for insights?

Market demand

A solid customer base in a new market is critical. Are you confident demand is strong enough for your product or service?

Timeframes

Exporting is a long process: from making the decision to go overseas to having up-and-running export operations can take between one to three years. Have you factored realistic timeframes into your business planning?

*We will provide further information on finance for exporting in the next edition of the series.

"Export was always part of our strategic plan to help us deleverage risk in our customer base – Peter MacDonald, Capilano Honey."

"We thought that when we were successful in Australia, that story would translate pretty well overseas. In reality, there is a four to five year pipeline to getting substantial work in new markets – Bruce Rodgerson, Rubicon Water."

Hear from some of the panellists at our recent SME Briefings on how they assessed their export opportunities.