Exporting -It’s time to be in the market again.

Our team has had some ongoing discussions around their mixed feelings about travelling for work again. The risk factor of getting caught in a lockdown or becoming unwell overseas is still very much at the centre of many minds. The question of international or even inter-state travel is not something everyone is excited about since the adjustments of doing business remotely. 

It’s become acceptable to have difficult conversations across zoom, to trust in LinkedIn to build relationships with clients or potential suppliers, and it’s become the norm for many more companies to run projects from the comfort of home offices. 

The challenge of our isolation, a country girt by sea is that many of our global competitors have been in the market for some time. And although we’re comfortable staying in Sydney or Perth to do business, competitors and more importantly, existing and potential customers notice the absence of Australian business.

Building new export markets

The cost savings of smaller travel budgets on P&Ls have been a short-lived win for business owners and accountants. But it’s time to pull the band-aid off of short-term savings, as there will be long-term loss to customers and market share. 

We will admit, there is success to be found in maintaining our market relationships virtually via Zoom. But we can liken this to being a player in the stands, trying to get involved in the on-field match. As an on-looker, you can shout instructions and strategies based on what you’re seeing unfold. However, the influence on the final result is still entirely dependent on everyone in the field and, in the business case, the market. If you’re not in the market, you’re limited to responding and instructing.  

In a positive example, a client who services the Pacific Islands explained their surprise at being the only supplier across New Zealand and Australia to visit their clients in 2022. Their customers, who were appreciative and thankful for their shown commitment rewarded with new contracts.

We’ve seen the hard lessons learnt on supply chain and market diversification when there is an overdependence on one supplier, market or component. We don’t have to look further than the last three years to see its importance and the crisis that can unfold. Yet the building of both continues to suffer due to a combination of both covid and geopolitical tensions, as it keeps businesses out of the market.

As businesses examine and focus on transparent supply chains to fulfil their operations, teams need to build new markets that move away from an overreliance on one market. It require companies to be in the market, understand on-the-ground insights, and make face-to-face relationships. It is time to begin travelling again. 

There is an understanding that for more excellent value in export and trade to be realised, businesses need support in visiting the market. Austrade and their programs are a great support base for Australian businesses. Whether it’s reducing over-reliance, building into scale and growth or re-engaging customer channels, sustainable and long-term relationships can only be fostered by spending time and creating value in the market.

Yes, it’s time to be in the market again, or at the very least engage in market support services for your business that will aid your market development goals. 

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