Where can I access finance to fulfil an export or export-related contract?


One of the most common problems for SMEs is funding growth. Once export comes into the equation, financing requirements become even more important and many businesses need support to enable them to fulfil their export and export-related contracts. Help is available from a number of sources:

Consider your options.  
When a contract comes in, think carefully about how you could fund it without entering into risky debt or putting a strain on cashflow – even your own client or suppliers might be able to help you.

"The way we approach it is the first place we will look...is to your client for finance. If that is going to cost you margin or some conditions, we look to our subcontractors and suppliers to see where they are at and what they can do. Once we have exhausted those avenues, we will look to the bank - Casey van Loo, Ellton Conveyors."

Speak to your bank.
Speak to your business banker who can assess your situation and advise you on your best course of action. Your bank may be able to offer you a secure loan or commercial bill facility to help you with financing your exports.

"I remember hearing a banker tell me once, ‘speak to your banker early and often – Tim Cornish, Forgings, Flanges & Fittings."

Think about alternative sources of funding.
If your bank is unable to help, Export Finance Australia, Australia’s export finance agency, may be able to. Export Finance Australia can provide financial support to SME exporters, or SMEs involved in an export-related supply chain, in the form of loans, guarantees and bonds to support specific export contracts.

"The hardest part [of exporting] was when we did get a real game changer of a deal for a multimillion dollar project... but they required a performance bond. Fortunately for us [Export Finance Australia] were able to put together that bond – Tim Rolfe, The Creature Technology Company."

Hear from some of the panellists at our recent SME Briefings on how they approach accessing finance for export.