Unfortunately, there are no quick short cuts to avoiding risks in export markets. As with any other business risk, you will need to follow a robust process of risk management to ensure your business is in the strongest possible position to cope with risks.
Do your homework
The first thing you need to do is identify the potential sources of risk in your chosen export market. Export Finance Australia’s Country Profiles [insert hyperlink: http://www.ExportFinanceAustralia.gov.au/education-and-tools/country-profiles/] are a good place to start. The World Bank publishes a range of data on individual country risks and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) continually monitors the effects of political changes on Australian businesses.
Your bankers, lawyers, insurers and accountants will be able to give you advice about the risks you may encounter in overseas markets. It is also a good idea to try and find someone who has dealt in the country before so you can learn from their experiences – you may be able to find such an organisation through your industry association or business chamber.
Make an assessment
While it is impossible to predict the occurrence of specific risks, it is possible to make a reasonable assessment of the likelihood and impact of most scenarios that could affect your business. You should also rank the likelihood and importance of different risks to identify critical areas of focus.
Develop risk management strategies
As with any other business risk, you then need to identify the steps you can take or measures you can put in place to avoid or mitigate the risk, or minimise its impact. Ensure your risk management strategy is a clear and simple as possible and that everyone in the business is aware of what they need to do.
Monitor and review
It’s important to regularly monitor the risks that have a potential to affect your business in different export markets.This may well change over time and you need to ensure you are aware of this and have updated your risk management strategies if necessary.