The current global financial crisis presents both significant challenges and opportunities for Australian businesses. Some Australian exporters are finding overseas orders slowing due to falling demand in international markets or because overseas buyers are having difficulty in obtaining appropriate credit. On the other hand the fall in the value of the Australian dollar is helping to make Australian products more cost competitive in global markets.
Beyond the financial crisis – ten tips to maintain or increase market share
Good business practices and strategies to manage risk and capture emerging opportunities will help see Australian businesses through the current downturn and beyond. Below are ten tips to help businesses operating in overseas markets to maintain market share and position for future growth.
- Focus on retaining existing customers – in difficult times loyalty matters, so keep in touch with your customer base and continue to deliver great service.
- Look out for new opportunities and growth sectors emerging from changed market conditions.
- Watch for opportunities to target new customers – for instance those of businesses exiting the market.
- Rethink your marketing message – a creative message that suits the current business environment may win business at a time when competitors are cutting marketing costs.
- Consider e-marketing or pooling marketing resources with other companies providing complementary products or services, for instance at trade shows.
- Minimise risk with a balanced spread across a broad customer base, without stretching your resources too far.
- Watch your cash flow by closely monitoring working capital and cutting unnecessary costs, without affecting the quality of your service to customers.
- Maintain a good dialogue with your bank.
- Look after your core high-performing staff.
- Keep your eye on your long-term business plan but also build in contingency plans.
"Beyond the financial crisis" podcast
In the following excerpts from the "Beyond the financial crisis national briefings" we’ll hear from Minister for Trade Simon Crean and Austrade's Chief Economist Tim Harcourt along with a panel of experts that addressed businesses in early 2009 in 8 cities around Australia.
Some of Austrade's most senior representatives offshore provided a local perspective of what is happening in key international markets and timely insights into shifting business conditions, and identified new openings in global markets as a result of increased government spending, industries that are rebuilding and reinventing, clean energy initiatives, and investment opportunities.
Along with a representative from the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, EFIC, they provided pragmatic tips for companies on positioning their business for the long-term, securing working capital and increasing certainty of payment from international buyers.
If you have particular export, foreign direct investment or market access issues and would like to speak to an Austrade market and industry specialist, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 13 28 78.
Export finance issues
EFIC provides advice on international business risk and offers a range of financial products that can assist Australian export businesses. For more information visit: www.efic.gov.au.