You have made the important and hopefully successful step of beginning to export your company's products and/or services overseas. You have established a small market and sales are going well. Where do you take it from here?
Most companies find that the biggest barrier to expanding their export operations and taking advantage of new opportunities is a lack of funding.
If you're having trouble raising the capital needed to expand your export operations contact your bank or the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation to see if you quality for an EFIC Headway loan.
EFIC Headway is a guarantee from EFIC to your bank, enabling the bank to lend you additional funds without asking for additional security.
There is no need to change your existing banking relationship provided you currently use a participating bank . EFIC Headway is available on flexible 3, 6, 9 and 12 month terms with a minimum of paperwork, thus enabling you to take advantage of immediate export opportunities.
To qualify for EFIC Headway a company has to have been exporting for a minimum of two years. There are other criteria which your bank can advise you on.
The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme is another way to save money while
entering new markets and expanding your export operations. The EMDG is the Australian Government's principal financial assistance
program for aspiring and current exporters, aimed at encouraging SME's to develop export markets. The scheme does this by reimbursing up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses above a threshold of $15,000.
Each year exporters are able to register and apply for the grant. Note that for 2006 applications must be submitted before the close of business day on November 30th. If you think you may need assistance in completing and submitting the application contact ECAL to find a EMDG consultant
Another money saving scheme available to Australian exporters is AusIndustry's Tradex
. The scheme provides an up-front exemption of customs duty and GST normally payable on imported inputs used in exported products. Qualifying businesses can take advantage of this scheme to strip out these costs, improving cash flow and making exports more competitive.
Another stumbling block is knowing which markets to expand into. There's a whole world out there and you've had a little taste of exporting and want more. Where do you go next?
Market research is vital when choosing which new opportunities to pursue.
Knowing which markets want your products and services as well as
what the local and export competition is like, trade barriers, tarrifs, other likely entrants, etc... is all essential information that an exporter must
You are looking to build a comprehensive picture of your preferred target market with its economic and demographic overview as well
as the market's cultural and religious environment, import regulations, tariffs, taxes, quotas and transport infrastructure.
Desk research is your first point of call with a variety of information, stats and analysis freely available including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Index
and TradeWatch or the EFIC's Global Analysis and Market Watch as well as the OECD's Country Risk Classification list .
The Asian Development Bank Key Indicators provides statistical profiles of the 40 ABD member countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The Market Access Sectoral and Trade Barriers Database contains reports on trade regulations, intellectual property laws, tariff and non-tariff barriers for 55 countries whilst the
CIA World Factbook provides profiles on 200 countries including the economic, political and social aspects of each.
Other useful market research tips and starting points can be found on the Market Research page
Market Entry Strategies
If you're considering whether it's time to set up a local office or form a joint partnership in order to expand your export operations have a look through Austrade's Market Entry Strategy list which lays out the pros and cons of a variety of options.
At this stage you may need some help, the best place to begin looking for an export consultant is the Export Consultants Association which has approximately 100 members from one person operations to large firms. Their full membership list is on their website.
Another great place to find help, advice and support is Ausnindo-Asia/Pacific who provide international business consulting as well as Government lobbying and advocacy. Ausnindo's primary focus is on working with clients in seeding, engineering and commercialisation of joint and other forms of business ventures throughout the Asia/Pacific, East Asia, Europe and the USA. Details of their services
are available online.