Thinking of exporting? Follow these steps!

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The decision to export, or enter into an export-related contract, is a great opportunity for many small businesses to grow and expand sales.

Before entering into any form of export activity, you should address these six considerations to ensure your small business is set up for export success:

1. Management commitment and resources

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

2. 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?

3. Financial resources

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

4. Market demand

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

5. Market entry

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

6. Timeframes

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

7. Follow these steps

1. Develop a robust export strategy and stick to it
2. Consider the positioning of your product or service in a new market
3. Build an experienced and flexible team
4. Identify strong local partners
5. Test, test, and test again

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Andrew Watson
Andrew Watson is the Executive Director of Export Finance at Efic. Andrew Watson is head of the SME team at Efic – which provides financial solutions to help small and medium-sized Australian businesses grow their exports, offshore investments and onshore export-related business opportunities.

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