Taking your Australian startup global: unlocking your high growth potential

Going global can significantly improve your growth potential and help protect your business from the risk of decline or cyclical challenges in the domestic market. Unearthing the right market to enter will take some time, and the following information will help you get started.

This is a self-assessment tool to determine whether you’re ready to go global and a framework to help give you the confidence you need to begin.

A number of the activities mentioned within each of the key considerations can be undertaken before you leave Australia, while others will require you to spend time in your overseas market of choice.

You can engage with the key considerations in any order, depending on their relevance to your business needs and global ambitions.

You will need to continually refine your strategy so that it meets your current operational and strategic needs and reflects current in-market conditions. Revisit each of the key considerations listed below on a regular basis to help with this process.

Remember, taking your product or service global brings with it a number of potential risks and challenges. For example, you may face risks associated with: non-payment of goods and services; exchange rate fluctuations; repatriation of profits; bribery and corruption; IP protection; political instability; data security; and labour and infrastructure quality and availability.

Be sure to do your due diligence, especially when looking to engage new customers, as well as companies to partner with. Have a risk mitigation plan that considers how you will identify, monitor and mitigate risks through a predefined action plan.

This information is a guide, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.


Know your market and operational capability to determine whether or not you’re ready to take your product or service global and to ensure your go-to-market strategy is both relevant and well-informed.

1. Determine whether you’re ready to go global

Before going global, it is important that you analyse your business to ensure you have the resources and organisational capability to do so.

2. Select an overseas market that’s right for your product or service

Assess and compare a number of potential overseas markets before deciding on which one to pursue.

3. Understand your target customer

To be successful in your overseas market, build your business around the customer you are aiming to serve, rather than pushing onto the market the product or service you want to sell.

4. Get to know your competitors

Insight into your competitors will help you strategically position your business offerings to minimise direct competition, either by choosing vulnerable competitors or by pitting strength against weaknesses.

5. Consider your customer acquisition strategy

Define, in detail, how you propose to acquire customers in your chosen overseas market. Understand how your target customer finds out about your product/service, acquires it, uses it, gets value from it, pays for it, and buys more and/or tells others about it.


Define how you will access your target customer and begin to operationalise.

6. Determine your mode of entry

It is essential that you have a clear mode of entry strategy that sets out how your product or service will be delivered to your target market. How you enter your overseas market will be determined by the nature of your product or service, and by the conditions and requirements of your chosen market segment and location.

7. Set your pricing model

Before setting your price, study the relative costs, demand and competition of your overseas market.

8. Evaluate possible business structures

How you decide to structure your business will depend on whether or not you are simply aiming to export your product, or establish a more permanent presence. It will also depend on your market of choice and what methods for setting up a business are available.

9. Understand the legal and regulatory environment of your target market

Plan for the specific legal and regulatory standards of your target market – and in particular, the risks associated with your product or service.


Seek funding and consider how you will grow your business by taking greater market share, developing new products/services or expanding into additional markets.

10. Identify grants and funding opportunities

A number of funding options now exist to help startups fund their overseas expansion, from export credit and loans to various grants, venture capital and equity sharing deals.

11. Scale your business

Once you are operating effectively in your overseas market, it is time to consider scaling your business by taking greater market share, developing new products/services or expanding into additional overseas markets.