According to Australia’s International Business Survey, the top challenge facing Aussie exporters is:
Accessing information on local culture language and practices. This results in difficulty building and maintaining long-term business relationships, which is essential in order to export successfully.
It goes without saying that there is no one right way to deal with this issue and that each individual business will have its own unique way to handle it. One crucial aspect for exporters is to avoid being deterred, and instead be determined to develop the means to seek the skills and knowledge to navigate through this major challenge. So, here are some things to consider when accessing information on local culture, language and practices:
An acceptance that a combination of desk-top research and market visits is ideally required.
To begin with, try the DFAT countries and regions fact sheets to get a satellite understanding of markets you have in mind. DFAT Trade and investment page is also very useful. For a more specific investigation and opinions see the Austrade Export Markets pages. Some states like the Victorian Government also publish advice on their respective export markets and organize trade missions. The National Library of Australia has a freely available resources section that includes IBISWorld. The Australian Bureau of Statistics provides access to statistical information of products imported and exported from Australia. COFACE has all your prospective target country risks analysis covered. Internationally, the CIA World Fact Book is treasure trove of information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. The WTO resources section provides a wide range of trade statistics, economic research, publications, videos, audio and photos. Connecting with the Chamber of Commerce in the target market allows exporters to network and promote their offer as well as educate themselves on the local market business practices. If you have deep pockets, then reports on industry or consumer behaviors can be obtained from Euromonitor, Forrester and BMI. Keep in mind that protecting your IP is critical. IP Australia provides links in the appropriate directions internationally.
Doing some upfront research cannot be underrated. It will support a smooth market entry and ensure your best prospects for success.
In addition to conducting online research, according to AIBS survey, traveling overseas to visit prospects and clients in person is the most important market development activity that can be conducted. Creating a bond between your organization and future client will fast track your ability to create a long-term business relationship. Attending tradeshows provides an aggregated environment for connecting with new clients overseas and to foster new business relationships.
In building international relationships, consider this tip. Take the approach that establishing a business connection is based on having three cups of tea, that serve to bond you together first of all as friends, then to establish trust amongst each other, then tie you closer as if you are family. In order to maintain a long lasting business relationship, both parties need to work well with one another. Being a friend to your clients will overtime, establish trust. This trust will lead into accepting one another as family. Meaning, both parties will do what ever it takes to make sure the other succeeds. Needless to say, when beginning on a new business venture, this trust is essential to exceeding limitations and overcoming all barriers.
We hope the above suggestions have built on your existing knowledge and can shed some light for aspiring exporters on navigating your way through the challenges successfully. And that these tips will add to your ability to continue to pursue your goals and objectives for achieving export success, good luck!
If you require assistance with your exporting challenges, then we would welcome the opportunity to assist in accelerating your export opportunity.
Contact Steve Dowling on 0409 478 850 for a confidential, no obligation discussion