How Australian businesses are pivoting during COVID-19, and what you could learn from them.
Throughout COVID-19, Australian businesses are overcoming significant challenges. Loss of markets, cancelled orders, disrupted supply chains and rising export costs, to name a few.
Which businesses are finding innovative ways to adapt to this new environment? And how did they build a more resilient and successful service model?
Export Finance Australia looked at three ways businesses have shifted their operating strategies. Read their stories which could help your own business thrive in a post-COVID world.
1. Find a need – and fill it
COVID-19 has undermined demand for many products. But it has also created unprecedented need for products that help fight the spread of the virus.
Fashion labels are making personal protective equipment (PPE) for health professionals. Like our customer Active Apparel Group, businesses pivoted to create non-medical grade reusable face masks for international customers.
Thinking outside the box is crucial. Your business might already be equipped with the materials or technology to fulfill a gap in the market.
A closer look at Active Apparel Group
Active Apparel Group is a WRAP-certified manufacturer of activewear, sportswear, swimwear, and leisurewear for global lifestyle and performance brands. COVID-19 materially impacted their business globally, resulting in a reduction of customer orders. They identified a new business opportunity in the US by designing and producing reusable face masks.
“Export Finance Australia was not only quick to support our new business by extending suitable financing facilities. They also adjusted certain key terms that allowed us to pivot our organisation at a critical time and build inventory quickly to meet urgent mask demand.” Daniel Hawker, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Active Apparel Group.
2. Explore new markets
Other businesses have kept the same core offering but changed their distribution approach. This way, they reach a broader and more geographically-diverse customer base.
Education providers have been holding classes online using virtual conferencing software – opening their classroom offering to the world. One of our customers, Key 2 Learning, is a vocational education provider specialising in health and community services. They identified a pivot opportunity to continue to deliver their services by including online learning.
Meanwhile, some retailers have closed their bricks-and-mortar stores and are now trading solely online. This has helped them reduce costs while accessing a larger potential market. Australian Fashion Labels is one example. Our loans helped them expand their eCommerce strategy and continue to scale up their sales activity.
If you have an idea or need the financial backing to explore a new market, Export Finance Australia could help your business. Speak to our team and find out how we could provide you with access to finance.
3. Redefine your customer
Border closures have seriously affected Australian travel, tourism and education businesses. It has significantly hit those that rely on international tourists the hardest. Yet some businesses in this sector are now seeking to target domestic customers instead.
For example, Airlie-beach based scenic flight operator, GSL Aviation, relied on international visitors for around 80 per cent of its revenue. When this market was affected due to border closures, Export Finance Australia assisted with a loan.
Our finance enabled GSL Aviation to pay their creditors, retain employees and keep the business going, while refocusing its offer to attract Australian customers.
Do you need finance to support your business? We could help.
If you’re looking to give your business the chance to grow in this environment, speak to our team today.
Get in touch at 1800 093 724 or visit exportfinance.gov.au/covid19