ONE: Pay attention to your
The first important step is an honest assessment of
your business. Developing an export market takes time: it’s not uncommon for
producers to spend three years focusing, energy and costs before getting their
first order. So when you focus on your export business, you need to make sure
your local operations operate smoothly.
Obtaining export success can create volatile demand
forecasts that lead to overstocking or understocking and production variations
that limit the capacity to complete orders on time.
Exporters need to be aware that ‘niche’ and ‘small’ in
the US is very different to Australia.
For example, if you win a contract with a ’boutique’ supermarket
with 10 stores it might sound very manageable, but it’s not unusual for
boutique” supermarkets to pull in over $300 000 a week in revenues.
Scaling up production quickly to meet increased demand
ultimately requires increased investment for additional equipment, inventory,
logistics, staff and marketing. Also, exporting adds an extra complexity to
normal business cash flow management, particularly when costs outstrip export
TWO: Research, research
Export homework should be rigorous. Discovering too
late that a successful local brand cannot be used in the US can prove
disastrous. You need to understand the business culture in which you will
Socio-demographics for your product in Australia may
be very different in the US where for millions of people, English is a second
language. In addition to different customers and operating practices, you will
face a variety of regulations, taxes, and documentation. You will also have
different prices, terms of trade policy, and payment schedules.
Weather patterns in the US are extreme. Do not allow
extreme heat or cold to damage the delivery schedule. You also need to take
into account long distances in the supply … » Read more