Regardless of your business activity, exporting brings with it new opportunities as well as a number of potential risks and challenges. To be a successful exporter, you should be thinking about how you deal with the following aspects:
Being culturally aware and adapting your behaviour can help maximise opportunities, and importantly avoid misunderstandings which can come about from cultural differences.
Make sure you:
- understand the culture, language, religion, ethical standards and business practices of your target market
- get to know your customers and business partners well
- make an effort to understand howculture impacts on attitudes towards your product and/or service.
It's vital that you don't generalise. Some countries are very diverse and have different cultural nuances. Register your interest to take part in Asialink Business Cultural Intelligence Training Program.
The political environment of the market you're considering may pose new challenges to your business.
Make sure that you know:
- the stability of the market politically, economically and socially
- if there are any government or international enforced trade embargoes
- if the country complies with international legal conventions, such as trade sanctions and recognition of personal property rights.
Visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's smartraveller website to receive up-to-date information about the political climate of selected countries.
Markets have varying legal and regulatory systems. Differences in contract law and Intellectual Property (IP) protection law can be challenging so it's important to learn the legal intricacies of exporting to your particular market.
If necessary, consult an experienced lawyer who knows your market segment and export location.
The number of people you currently employ, and their skill sets, may need to be adjusted to address the requirements and added pressure that exporting may bring.
Finance and funding
Exporting will mean additional expenditure for your business and is likely to raise the risks and challenges associated with exchange rate fluctuations, non-payment from suppliers and customers, and bribery and corruption.
Confirm the financial standing of any companies you deal with, and ask to see financial documentation such as:
- bank statements
- bank loans or credits with any financial institutions or private lenders
- debt records
- promissory notes
- letters of credit
- government grants and subsidies.
Bribery and corruption are illegal in most countries. Under Australian law (Division 70 of the Criminal Code Act 1995), you could face criminal prosecution in Australia for bribing a public official in another country.
Take the Go Global Self-Assessment
Here's a tip: Our Go Global export-readiness online self-assessment tool will identify your business's gaps in capabilities and recommend next steps to bridge those gaps. Whether you're seeking to enter new markets, or expand into existing markets, Go Global will show you how to get there.
- Our Access Program provides assistance for Victorian businesses planning to establish new export markets in key countries and regions
- Check out our case studies to discover how we've helped Victorian business owners tap into the global market
- Visit our regional insight pages to read the latest updates on key export markets from across the globe
- Austrade provides more information on how you can be export ready
- Agriculture Victoria or the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources provides valuable information about exporting live produce or agricultural products from Victoria
- Export Finance Australia (EFIC) provides a range of helpful resources:
- Export Council of Australia (ECA) have published an Australian Export Handbook providing a comprehensive guide to all of the practical aspects of managing an international business
- LaunchVic is an independent company funded by Victoria Government, providing business mentoring and support for Victorian entrepreneurs, including those looking to export.
- Asialink Business has developed a series of Country Starter Packs for Australian businesses looking to establish or expand their operations in Asia. You'll also find a series of case studies profiling how Australian businesses are successfully engaging with Asia
- Business Victoria provide a range of helpful resources such as;
- funded assistance to help businesses strategically identify, plan and meet their business goals
- mentoring through the Small Business Mentoring Program assist businesses in refining their business strategy, mapping out their direction, and setting goals for success