Understand the financial challenges before you start exporting, plan how you’ll deal with them and you’re on the path to export success.

Other places to get help

Take advantage of the other experience and expertise available by contacting:

  • Austrade, to speak to an Austrade export adviser
  • business and industry organisations such as the Australian Institute of Export
  • organisations in your state or territory which provide information and support to exporters. Brochures listing these organisations in each state and territory are available on Austrade’s website
  • TradeStart is a national network of export assistance offices employing Export Advisors who are well versed in the needs of exporters and potential exporters and skilled in matters of international trade.

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 Preparing for export 

Preparing for export image

Your business has a sound track record of sales in Australia. Now you’re keen to expand and increase your profits by exporting.

Exporting brings new financial challenges

As an exporter, you’ll face financial challenges that are very different to those involved in selling to Australian customers. Understand these challenges before you start exporting, plan how you’ll deal with them and you’re on the path to export success.

Some of the key differences of international trade and the financial challenges they raise are:

  • longer cash flow cycle—it takes more time for an overseas buyer to receive your products or services and therefore longer for you to get paid, which can strain your cash flow and working capital
  • physical distance from your buyer—combined with the longer time for payment, means greater non-payment risk and more difficulty in collecting debts
  • getting paid in other currencies—can expose you to foreign exchange risk
  • establishing overseas operations—obtaining finance can be difficult as Australian banks can be reluctant to accept overseas assets as security for loans.

Export Finance Navigator identifies the financial issues you’re likely to face at each stage of the export journey and financial tools to help you solve them.

Your relationship with your bank may be different

To find out more about managing the additional financial challenges of exporting, start with your bank. However, as international trade finance is a specialist field, it’s likely that you’ll need to discuss your options not only with your Relationship Manager, but also your bank’s expert team dedicated to international trade finance. The team may not be located in your local bank branch, so ask your Relationship Manager for a referral.

Banks with specialist trade finance teams include:

Preparing an export plan

When you’re confident that your business can handle the new financial challenges of exporting, you can start putting together an export plan. This will be similar to the business plan you wrote when establishing your Australian business. It should include realistic cost estimates, best and worst case scenarios and how your business will manage the new financial challenges.

Assistance with your export plan is available from the Australian Government’s Enterprise Connect program, which offers eligible firms a free business review and funding (matched by the firm) to implement the recommendations of the review.

Government grants and tax concessions can also assist you when you’re preparing to export. To find out about the government support that’s available to you, use the search tool on the right.

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Where are your export operations based?

What do you need a grant or tax concession for?

What do you need to do?

Preparing for export

As an exporter, you'll face very different financial challenges to those involved in selling to Australian customers.

Read more

Finding markets

Identifying export markets and finding buyers can be surprisingly expensive. You'll also need to assess the risks of each market.

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Winning contracts

Access to finance can be a powerful tool in winning export business.

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Financing production

Longer payment periods in export contracts can create a gap in your cash flow and strain your working capital.

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Getting paid

With your buyer on the other side of the world, how do you make sure you get paid?

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Expanding overseas

It's time to expand your business operations overseas—perhaps with a factory, warehouse or sales and support office.

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