There are so many opportunities for Australian businesses going abroad, with research showing exporters, on average, grow faster, are more profitable, increase talent attraction and pay higher wages, than non-exporters.
Asia, in particular, can be a lucrative market for Australian exporters, with a range of free trade agreements making it an appealing export destination. However, there are a number of fundamental things businesses need to know before they scale up to Asia and beyond.
Firstly, do your research. Don’t underestimate the importance of understanding the local culture. This can help you work more effectively with Asian partners, and better market your products and services overseas. It can also help you avoid any potentially uncomfortable situations or faux pas.
Seek help. There is a lot of support out there for Australian businesses looking to export, find out what assistance is available to you. Austrade has a number of useful guides, advisors and grants, the Export Council of Australia (ECA) has a range of skills development programs, and Efic can help you with finance solutions. These are just a few in a long list.
Consider how your brand translates. Your brand identity is essential to your success. Do you need to re-examine your business (and product) names or logo? Does your brand have the same meaning in your chosen market? Make sure that you don’t use any words, logos or symbols which have a different meaning, or are offensive in another country.
Protect your business. Consider what intellectual property protection you need to secure, and know the different rules and regulations in each market. For example, China has a first to file rule, which means the first person to apply for the trademark will usually own the trademark, regardless of who used it first. You’ll also need to consider how you’ll enforce your IP from copycats or infringing goods.
This is only a snapshot of how to start preparing your business for growth in Asia. If you’d like to learn more (and we suggest you should!), IP Australia is hosting a free event in Sydney on April 4, which will cover these fundamental tips, plus much more.
The event will feature Asian business experts, intellectual property experts, and experienced companies who’ve successfully exported internationally, including Justin Dry, CEO and co-founder of successful wine start-up Vinomofo and Emma Lo Russo, CEO and co-founder of tech company Digivizer.