Once in a while, someone will remind you that complacency will kill your business – and, sadly, it really can. Too many businesses have suffered under the impact of complacency slipping in unnoticed. You might be sitting quite comfortably while reaching exponentially, yet restrictively, to the Australian market. This might be the right time to expand your horizons. In a way, isn’t it every entrepreneur’s dream to have their products reach the global market?
Before positioning your brand and exporting your product on the international stage, you must consider being able to scale production as well as having sufficient financial, human and intellectual resources.
Taking that leap abroad…
Innovation in areas such as transport, logistics and timely deliveries have enabled small-business owners to grow their customer base internationally.
After providing safer nail care to countless parents of toddlers, babies and newborns across Australia and selling over 20,000 nail trimmers since launching her product in 2017, going global was naturally the next step for me. Since then, I have exported to the UK, New Zealand, Canada and into the US as well as Asia.
The international trade and export industry is comprised of multi-levelled government agencies and industry players involved in the export process and the international distribution of products.
When it comes to exporting, we’re talking about a large chain that involves a multitude of activities linking key players such as telecommunications, transport and logistics, shipping, freight handling, licensing and technology. These are all interconnected and part of a collaboration between various private and governmental agencies, both here in Australia and overseas.
Exercise due diligence
The trade and export industry is surrounded by legal aspects that can heavily impact your business operations and can even lead to hefty losses or fines. To ensure a smooth progression of bringing the Nail Snail to international markets, I relied on having well-written distribution agreements and systematic processes in place.
There is such a large amount of sensitive and business related information covered in the distribution agreements and all of it needs to remain confidential. This is why I collaborate with an experienced export lawyer and ensure that I understand all the clauses.
Vigilance is key in international distribution
The general improvement of technology, trade finance and favorable exchange rates have encouraged more foreign buyers to purchase from Australian businesses. This can really increase business and lead to strong international partnerships but must be handled with a certain degree of caution.
I treat every overseas shipment like it was my very first. I methodically go through the procedures to ensure that my Nail Snails are distributed in a safe and timely manner. Shipping to an unknown destination can be a tad stressful but with tracking numbers, references and internationally recognised barcodes, I feel secure knowing that my shipment will go smoothly from start to finish.
All for economic growth
When it comes to exporting the Nail Snail, it felt good to know that I was not only contributing to the growth of my business but also contributing to the economic growth of Australia as well, while generating direct, indirect and induced jobs, too.
There are ample export resources available, support services and businesses that have taken the export journey before you – learn from them. Get support from experienced professionals and make sure you go over the fine print, too. Taking your product outside of Australia is a different game plan altogether. And, while it can be a worthwhile step to take, it is not to be taken lightly.
Done right, it can be the best thing for your business.
Julia Christie, Founder and CEO, Christie & Christie and winner of the 2018 AusMumpreneur of the Year for Product Innovation for The Nail Snail