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Export / Import Information for Small Business Owners in Australia

Is Your Business Export Ready?

When choosing to take your business overseas to a foreign country, there are several ways to export. Choosing what is right for you is the most important decision you can make. Factors involved with your domestic business will be the same when you begin exporting: finances, management, and logistics. Can you perform these duties in both domestic and foreign markets simultaneously? Do you have the staff needed to do this work? Begin your decision process by examining three best methods for exporting:

Direct Exporting

This method is the most financially rewarding and profitable, but also the most expensive. A business that chooses to export directly on its own must take care of everything from marketing to sales, warehousing and shipping. Some businesses that are large domestically find it easy to begin exporting, by simply creating another branch of their business to operate overseas. These businesses can set up a dedicated office with trained staff specifically to deal with the exporting aspect of their company. Direct exporting can be the focus of a start-up or emerging company as well, but of all the methods it is the most difficult to begin with. Direct exporting demands a large investment, but will return more profit, as the financial control is left in the hands of the business itself.

Exporting Agent

You may choose to hire an agent to set up your exporting business. The advantages of using an agent are that you have a professional on your team who already has experience exporting, and may also carry a list of contacts which can get an exporting business started. A possible mistake, however, could be leaving your exporting decisions to an agent who is not capable, so make sure you check your sources when looking for one. An agent will sometimes have products and buyers ready to buy, which is a great benefit to get started.

Export Consortium

There are groups of businesses whose market is exporting, and these groups are known as "export consortiums”. You can find and connect with these groups and members of these groups at industry trade shows. Some of these trade shows may be held in the foreign country you are interested in exporting to, so it's a good idea to visit that particular country. The single most advantageous aspect of joining a trade consortium is that you can find assistance in several different factors of your business. A consortium may be able to offer you help in shipping, or finding foreign buyers, or simply finding office staff. A consortium may even be looking for another business member who manufactures a component of their exported product.

In the end, the best way to start out would be to blend all three methods mentioned above. You could choose to export directly with a product you already make, hire an agent to find you a market for that product in the United States, and join an export consortium to find a logistics company with a proven track record with other exporters. The best method for exporting is the combination you choose to make your business efficient and profitable.

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Getting Started with Exporting

Government Export Assistance

Export Services

Trade Data


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