Regardless of your business activity, exporting brings with it new opportunities as well as a number of potential risks and challenges. To be a successful exporter, you should be thinking about how you deal with the following aspects:

Culture

Being culturally aware and adapting your behaviour can help maximise opportunities, and importantly avoid misunderstandings which can come about from cultural differences.

Make sure you:

  • understand the culture, language, religion, ethical standards and business practices of your target market
  • get to know your customers and business partners well
  • make an effort to understand howculture impacts on attitudes towards your product and/or service.
Avoid generalising

It's vital that you don't generalise. Some countries are very diverse and have different cultural nuances. Register your interest to take part in Asialink Business Cultural Intelligence Training Program.

Political instability

The political environment of the market you're considering may pose new challenges to your business.

Make sure that you know:

  • the stability of the market politically, economically and socially
  • if there are any government or international enforced trade embargoes
  • if the country complies with international legal conventions, such as trade sanctions and recognition of personal property rights.

Visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's smartraveller website to receive up-to-date information about the political climate of selected countries.

Legal systems

Markets have varying legal and regulatory systems. Differences in contract law and Intellectual Property (IP) protection law can be challenging so it's important to learn the legal intricacies of exporting to your particular market.

If necessary, consult an experienced lawyer who knows your market segment and export location.

Learn more about legal and regulatory systems.

Human resources

The number of people you currently employ, and their skill sets, may need to be adjusted to address the requirements and added pressure that exporting may bring.

Finance and funding

Exporting will mean additional expenditure for your business and is likely to raise the risks and challenges associated with exchange rate fluctuations, non-payment from suppliers and customers, and bribery and corruption.

Confirm the financial standing of any companies you deal with, and ask to see financial documentation such as:

  • bank statements
  • bank loans or credits with any financial institutions or private lenders
  • debt records
  • promissory notes
  • letters of credit
  • government grants and subsidies.

Bribery and corruption are illegal in most countries. Under Australian law (Division 70 of the Criminal Code Act 1995), you could face criminal prosecution in Australia for bribing a public official in another country.

Learn more about financing and funding your export product and/or service.

Useful resources