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What does it take to be ready for international business?

Author: Anton Pemmer, TradeStart

It’s important to consider if your business is ready and to be sure that you understand exactly what exporting entails and the impact on your current business before you start.

Exporting consumes time and money, and requires a strong management commitment. In the initial stages management are usually diverted from existing domestic business, but for many companies, this short-term stress will provide longer-term rewards, if you're committed.

To have a successful international business, you need a product or service which is in demand in overseas markets, as well as the necessary commitment, resources, skills and information to support sustained exporting activities over the longer term.

Developing an international business is no different to starting and building your domestic business; in fact, you can expect it to consume more management time than developing business at home.

Resources

Importantly, strength in the domestic market will also provide you with cash flow and the working capital you need to invest in developing your export markets.

Exporters find they need strong financial resources to expand overseas to cover the costs of product modifications, travel and international marketing, to name just a few of the additional costs you might face.

The right people

You also need to have the right people in place to run the export side of your business, and that may mean additional staff. Consistent people looking after the export side of your business reflects stability and also builds relationships with overseas customers.

Business planning

Many smaller companies don’t get around to formal business planning, but once you start exporting you are moving your business to a different level, so it is wise to consider putting these plans in place. Remember that you are the outsider and need to learn how to think and operate like a local in someone else's market.

Knowledge and skills

Export knowledge and skills, to export successfully will mean you need to learn about a wide range of issues such as how foreign markets operate, export documentation and foreign currency management, laws and conditions of export, to name a few.

Market selection

Don’t always think that the largest market is the best one for you; market selection can be the deciding factor between business success or failure.

Get in touch

For more information to help your business export contact Anton Pemmer TradeStart Adviser on 02 6154 6142.

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