Another successful SME Briefing series under the belt

Over 1000 attendees came along to our fourth annual national SME Briefing roadshow in March, gaining insights into some of the key challenges Australian small and medium businesses face when growing their export business.

High profile keynote speakers, including Boost Juice founder Janine Allis, Swisse former CEO Radek Sali, and Coopers Brewery Chairman Glenn Cooper, talked about some of the key strategies they implemented to help develop their export sales. From creating a strong business culture to developing the right international relationships and networks – exporting can be a difficult process if you don’t have the right people around you. 

Breaking down export barriers

With a mixture of small businesses and experts from across industries, the panel sessions provided some great discussions around some of the challenges SME exporters face when entering new international markets. Breaking down cultural barriers was a recurring theme, with understanding how to act in each cultural setting a critical factor to understand when undertaking business in new markets.

Getting access to finance when you don’t have the traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ security is an obstacle that SMEs continue to face, with about 20% expecting access to export finance to become more difficult over the next 12 months, according to Export Finance Australia’s Exporter Sentiment Index.

Bruce Billson, former minister for small business, was a panel member at the Melbourne and Sydney briefings.

The important thing to remember is that no one can make a business successful, but the businesses itself. However, what does assist small business exporters, is providing them with the entrepreneurial ecosystem where they can flourish, both in Australia and internationally, said Bruce.

“Export Finance Australia is part of that ecosystem in Australia – they provide loans and loan guarantees for small businesses exporters when their banks may be unable to give the support needed, providing a service in the market that no one else can.”

Protecting your IP overseas

Intellectual Property (IP) remains one of the key challenges brought up throughout the briefings. Understanding the risks associated with taking your IP overseas can seem a daunting task, but understanding what your export strategy will be is key to developing an IP strategy to complement it. To help you understand what you should be thinking about when it comes to protecting your IP, Export Finance Australia, in partnership with IP Australia, has developed a Protecting your IP overseas specialist paper. This free paper provides you with the key considerations you need to think about when growing your business overseas.