The success of an export business depends as much on the products it sells as on the markets it relies on. The principle is nothing more than an extension of what happens for any shop on the high street, in the way their revenues are influenced by the fluctuations of our own economy and customer spending power.
When exporting, however, you have the unique privilege of being able to choose your own market and customers. In order to make the most of such privilege, it pays to choose an export market that’s both growing solidly and that’s not already extremely competitive in the sector you’re trying to break into, thus offering decent room for sales and expansion.
Among the top markets to watch for British businesses, today we will cover Australia, which holds some unique opportunities for UK-based companies, not only because of the common language.
As a business owner, the prospect of exporting to a country whose GDP growth never dropped below the 2 percent mark over the last five years is quite mouth-watering. As a British business owner in particular, it will be even more encouraging to know that UK exports to Australia grew by 80 percent since 2007.
But to make the most of such favourable conjuncture you should by no means underestimate the challenges posed by the Australian market.
UK Trade and Investment listed them quite clearly, referring to factors such as the huge distance between Britain and the Australian continent (approximately 24 hours), an 8 to 11-hour time difference as well as the expansiveness of doing business Down Under.
With regards to the distance, there are now very competitively priced services to send everything from containers to parcels and couriers to Australia, so this will be the least worrying factor once you have established a solid presence within the country.
As for the cost of doing business in Australia, the currency exchange rate can be a double-edged sword: the British Pound is currently very strong against the Australian Dollar (AUD) and it’s worth between 1.9 and 2 AUDs – the highest rate since 2009.
This means that you won’t be in a privileged position when exporting to the country, given the low prices Asian companies can afford to keep when selling their products.
So to break into this extremely healthy market you should rely on quality rather than quantity, and offer services that are not easily available elsewhere.
British businesses have the know-how that can take them far in any competitive market worldwide in the transports, energy, IT and e-commerce sectors, and Australia is the ideal place for forward-thinking companies to prosper.
British exports of apparel and clothing accessories grew by 700% between 2009 and 2012, so this should be your main focus if you’re thinking of opening up an e-commerce business selling on the Australian market.
Elsewhere, look for opportunities in the electronic equipment sector as well as exporting car accessories and medical and technical equipment, Australia being a major importer in all of these areas.
Regardless of the sector, you will find all of the advice you need by getting in touch with UKTI, which is the go-to source of advice for British companies who want to succeed Down Under.