With around 35,000 Australian exporters turning over less than $5M, significant benefits exist for small and medium enterprise considering exporting to New Zealand.
The prime growing products for small/medium enterprises to consider are education, tourism and agribusinesses, together with professional services (including scientific and technical services) and healthcare.
The key markets identified overseas for Australian small businesses include China, New Zealand, USA and India.
One of the problems most small/medium enterprises have when considering exporting is access to finance.
This is caused by the business tending to grow very fast and, in many cases, stock needs to be developed before export activities can commence. This can be a drain on cash flow.
Where do you start in creating a culture of exports within your business?
In the first instance, you need to know more about the markets you’re considering. Research at the very beginning is very important. You need to identify the right market for your products. The Australian government has an organisation called Austrade, represented in every state capital, which can assist in identifying potential export markets for your business. Each state also has a department to assist in export sales.
The key document for you to produce is the export strategy plan, which identifies the products you would like to produce and the markets you’re targeting. This document should also include details of market exploration trips you’ve undertaken, your potential partners, distributors, customers, customs requirements in overseas countries and the regulations relative to your products.
To be successful in exporting, you would have to have spent some time travelling, meeting people and determining how you need to modify your product, at a reasonable cost, to suit the requirements of a particular market.
How big is the market? Is there a potential for you or is it already over-supplied?
The Export Finance Insurance Corporation (EFIC) can supply financial assistance for small/medium enterprises, to help them into the export market. This can take a number of forms and could include a guarantee being issued by EFIC to your bank, to facilitate extra facilities for the production of stock that’s destined for export markets.