If you've ever considered taking your business to the next level, you've likely thought about going overseas. Do it right, and it can pay off enormously. Do it wrong and it could end up costing you more than just time and effort.
To get to a point where you can comfortably make the expansion into an overseas market, your business needs to be financially stable.
To get to a point where you can comfortably make the expansion into an overseas market, your business needs to be financially stable. Cashflow not at the level you want? Can't find the necessary working capital to take the next step? Never fear, because debtor finance is the solution.
How can you break into an overseas market?
Before you take a leap of faith and jump into a crowded market with your business, you should go through a series of checks to ensure you won't fall flat completely. Austrade recommends taking a business export basics course, as this will help you to understand the intricacies of physically getting your product out of Australia and into your new target market.
You also need to consider all of your potential competitors on new shores. Do your research online and make a list. From this, find ways that your business is different and why you'll be successful. If you can't come up with anything, you should look at a different destination.
CEO of Employment Hero Ben Thompson, speaking to SmartCompany in an article from April 21, suggests securing your local venture properly before looking at any other markets:
"One of the key things is not to overstretch and leave one territory before you feel as though you have really won there. If you leave the local battle to start a new one you may end up losing on both fronts."
Further to your research about who your competitors will be, you should test if your product or service is a genuine need (or want) in your target market. Conducting trials will prove that your business will be a success (or of course, a failure). If the trials are successful and you generate leads, you've not only got an existing base of customers, but you can relax in the knowledge that your venture isn't into totally unknown territory.
"You don't want to spend millions of dollars to discover for whatever reason the product doesn't work in a new territory, so definitely prove the market before you make the leap," continued Mr Thompson.
"Businesses must make a realistic assessment of the demand for their product and the internet has made this process so much easier," commented co-founder of InStitchu James Wakefield.
"If you have an online channel, use this to reach out into the market and see what the immediate uptake is like."
"If you have an online channel, use this to reach out into the market and see what the immediate uptake is like. Analytics means that we don't have to guess anymore, we can make an informed choice."
Using your research to ensure success
Once you know that your product will be a hit overseas, you can start to find ways to make it even better. Adapt your business to the new market, while maintaining the strength of your local operation. Consider the different ways that your new target market will adapt compared to the Australian market, and make sure you're prepared for it.
Finally, make sure you know the pitfalls of doing business overseas, and are familiar with the solutions. Exchange rates fluctuate, demand for your product might be seasonal, customs might hold your delivery up and freight might damage your goods. All of these things will cost your business money.
For help keeping on top of your finances, and to solidify your working capital stores, get in touch with Cashflow Finance today to discuss debtor finance solutions.