Preparing to export

OVERENTHUSIASM or an over-inflated expectation of a product’s international export potential can lead to costly and heartbreaking mistakes.

For instance, imagine a company that decided its new range of lollypops would be a hit among kids in the UK. The company produces thousands, boxes them up and ships them out, bound for sales success abroad. But when the container arrives, the UK authorities shake their heads and send it back at the company’s expense.

Why? Because the lollypop producer did not seek the proper import licence, obtain the proper labelling, or prepare the goods in a certified manufacturing facility.

Such are the oversights that can stifle what otherwise may have been a financial success story.

This hypothetical scenario forms the basis of a short export course next month.

Organised by Perth’s Purple Performance, the Going Global: Strategies for Export Success workshop will present business people with the strategies for, and the pitfalls of, exporting their products.

Purple Performance managing director Emma Vivian said the course would offer practical, strategic advice to those developing export initiatives, as well as experienced exporters.

“The workshop will let people know about common experiences and mistakes, explain ways to distribute, ways to enter new markets, standards and compliance, and to be in control of your exports,” Ms Vivian said.

She said that, while there were many common errors, those problems could be overcome with export knowledge and patience.

“A lot of failures come about by lack of planning,” Ms Vivian said.

“Some companies get inquiries from overseas and rush out and sign deals, and later on they discover they have cut off a huge market.

“People need to qualify their distributors.

“There is a classic example of a businessman attending a trade fair in the Middle East, exhibiting his cheese.

“A gentleman bought two containers and wanted exclusive rights to export in Egypt.

“The guy exhibiting the cheese signed an agreement but never saw the man wanting to export into Egypt again. He later discovered the man was a representative of a large multinational company with a large range of cheeses.”

The workshop would advise people of simple tasks that can be undertaken through local providers, such as a bank, that can save huge losses, she said.

“You may recognise the name of a bank if it’s in the UK or the US, but perhaps not if it’s in other countries,” Ms Vivian said.

“A letter of credit is only worth as much as the paper it’s printed on. Your bank can check the details.”

The one-day workshop takes place at the Duxton Hotel on Saturday July 8.

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