Expand your business by exporting
Exporting can be a profitable way of expanding your business, spreading your risks and reducing your dependence on the local market.

Exporting exposes you to new ideas, management practices, marketing techniques, and ways of competing that you wouldn’t have experienced by staying at home. All this considerably improves your ability to compete in the domestic market as well.

By going overseas, you can become more efficient and increase your productivity. Exporting companies have better growth prospects, highly skilled, highly productive staff and tend to adapt technology and best practice techniques faster.

Even if you have a limited domestic market, you should think about exporting - around a quarter of new exporters are born globals.

Click here for step-by-step guide for exporting (Source : Austrade)

Tips for ICT Exports

Doing business overseas

This section provides ICT industry-specific advice to help you grow your business overseas:
       Planning your overseas expansion
       Creating an export plan and market research
       Visiting the market
       Establishing a market presence
       Marketing tactics
       Getting paid
       Planning your overseas expansion
One thing successful exporters from every industry have in common is their thorough preparation before launching overseas.

Preparing your product for export
To succeed in export markets, your product or service must be exportable. It is important that you define what products or services you are seeking to export – and the more specific you can be the better. In particular, define the particular market niche where you have a competitive advantage.

International success can depend on two marketing factors; internationalisation and localisation. Internationalisation means adaptability across a variety of markets and localisation is about specific language translations, currency changes etc.

Other factors to consider include :

       your product’s bandwidth needs
       any specialist translation required
       search techniques in other languages
       local user testing
       local tax
       legal systems
       adjusting the code to suit other alphabets (adopting the Unicode system)
Protecting your intelllectual property (IP)

This is an absolutely critical aspect of ICT product/service development Often, the IP may be the only asset an ICT company has. Either way, it will always be the most valuable asset – an ICT company’s value and ability to make a profit depends entirely on knowledge and the ability to protect it. So that’s why IP protection – which must include research around similar products – is crucial.
There are several forms of IP :

       Trade secrets
Every time you make a presentation, or distribute descriptive documents of any kind, you have made a public disclosure. To protect your IP, it is an excellent idea to get all interested parties to sign an NDA before they see or hear any information about your product, and to be given plenty of notice of this request.

Researching and selecting a market

The Internet is a great place to start, and gather market intelligence and opportunities

Another excellent market analysis tool is trade shows. Monitoring or attending a trade show, particularly small ones in your niche ICT field, will let you assess your competitors and their products.

Methods of exporting

Having a strategy for sales and distribution, whether it’s independently or with partners, is another tool for success. Those entering an export market need to really understand how the distribution channel works. There are a number of options for ICT sales and distribution, including direct sales, licensing, original equipment manufacture (OEM), distributors, resellers, systems integrators, bundling and selling online.

Visiting the market

Travelling to your target to meet your distributors, partners and customers is critical to your success. You can't just be a voice on the telephone, or an email – they need to meet you.

Marketing tactics

A range of marketing tactics, under frequent review, will be needed for your export success. These include: :

       Public relations
       Direct marketing
       Trade shows and events
       Getting paid
Completing due diligence on any company with whom you have an agreement, is essential. Fully check their credentials, seek customer references, and conduct background searches through reputable organisations like Dun & Bradstreet to confirm each company is solid. Supplementary background checks through local networks - contacts which Austrade can supply - can provide further validation. But even with such assistance, please note that due diligence is ultimately your responsibility.

Any agreements with customers and partners must spell out payment conditions clearly, including late payment penalties. Upfront deposits or progress payments are generally considered acceptable in the IT industry. Your lawyer should prepare any agreements on licence fees or royalties.

(Source: Austrade)