News Start-Up

Export advice for entrepreneurs

I recently took part in a panel discussion with three inspiring and successful social entrepreneurs, as part of SheEO’s first virtual Trade Event: Canada, Australia and New Zealand, designed to help support the growth of women and non-binary owned businesses creating a positive impact.

I joined a panel that featured:

  • Ami Bateman Co-Founder – Pleasant State, Sunshine Coast Sustainable Business Woman of the Year 2021
  • Hannah (Cree) Hemphill Human Rights + Social Justice Entrepreneur | Thinking Partner | Writer | Speaker & Spoken Word Artist
  • Madeleine Shaw Author – The Greater Good: Social Entrepreneurship for Everyday People Who Want to Change the World

The audience was electric. They were made up of women-led-businesses considering the leap to exporting overseas, posing many questions throughout the discussion. What I enjoyed most about this panel was their transparency and honesty, as we discussed topics such as export pitfalls, trademarks, invisible costs, and everything in between.

‘When considering exporting, see it as the gravy to your business strategy and do not stake your entire business model on it.’

Madeleine Shaw, Panelist at SheEO Trade

Madeleine Shaw’s advice at the end of the session was invaluable. She stated that when considering exporting to another country – proceed with caution.  She advised not to base your entire business model on an export market, have it as the gravy. Ensure to have your home team in order at home before you embark on an export strategy.

Ami Bateman’s advice was also spot on, and her customer focused lens has proved to be a success for her business Pleasant State.  She emphasised more than once during our discussion the importance of listening and involving your customers when setting up your business and to use them as a source for competitive advantage.  She shared that her customers have input into the ingredients of their products. A business that listens and acts based on client feedback – now that is impressive!

Image of a woman working on a tablet

While I’d love to give you every single detail of the discussion, I’ve summarised the following key talking points that reveal some real take home advice for any entrepreneur looking to expand overseas. So settle in for some sound advice before you take the leap to grow your business via exporting.

Tap into associations and partners

I discussed how valuable it is to forge in-country relationships with associations when trying to gain traction in a new market or sector. Associations are a gold mine for information on what is going on in your target audience sectors.  While going direct to your potential customer is always an option, going to a local association will provide you with research and intel in your market assessment stage.

Export pitfalls to watch out for include:

  • Madeleine shared she had misadventures with her product, which was replicated by other newcomers in the market and there was nothing they could do about it.
  • She also warned about unforeseen costs when exporting and to your put much thought in profit margin. Whatever you think it will cost to export, double it and then add some.  60% of her organisation’s sales are from the US, however when they launched in Europe and Asia, the profit margin was eroded due to unforeseen costs.

Exporting services vs products

I explained that services can be easier to export than products, as products drive large margins due to its physical nature.  As my organisation Best Case Scenario is a services business, I highlighted that the key to our success is forming local partnerships, networking and conversations with people who are willing to support your business. Forums such as SheEO Trade Event are key to relationship building and learning from likeminded people.

If your product is more expensive than your competitors, can you still sell?

In short, the answer is yes.  Ami explained that they conducted a customer survey and used a pricing model to understand what their pricing could look like. They deliberately pursued value pricing and uncovered during their research phase that customers are willing to pay more for a quality product.

The Invisible cost of time

I highlighted that woman who run businesses often undervalue their time and therefore under-price their services.  We all agreed time and resources is the invisible cost of exporting a service or product and it can be crippling.  When it comes to exporting a service, this can be even more challenging. Just because you can’t hold a product, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth anything.  It’s important to take this hidden cost into consideration, and measure your time spent on planning, preparing, and researching.

Using your own local marketing agency vs an in-country agency

I jumped straight in here, as someone who has first-hand experience when helping overseas organisations establish themselves in Australia, there are a few things to consider:

  • Australia is big but the population is small. The north differs greatly from the south, as does the east from the west. Culturally, this differs state by state.
  • If you are selling into Government, expect a complexity.
  • Australia is great for funding new businesses. A local marketing agency will know exactly where to go and understand the requirements needed.

I advised during the discussion not to make the mistake of assuming that one size fits all when it comes to setting up your business in Australia. Just because it is an English-speaking country, it doesn’t mean it has the same needs as your existing local audience.

Madeline agreed and recommended paying attention to cultural differences.

When looking to expand into another country, what are the things to look out for to ensure it is the right market?

Ami’s advice here was golden: Be receptive and listen to what customers are asking, then be deliberate when you enter the market.

Leverage the benefits of free trade agreements when exporting

We discussed how to watch out for strict standards and labelling, especially in Australia. Again, I emphasised that associations and trade bodies can be useful in this area.  Madeleine advised to be aware of shipping, contracts, and legal costs. She has benefited from free trade agreements between Canada and the US, but a higher price product can make free trade more complex and often these costs such as customs must be paid for by the customer.

And some final closing quick tips:

  • From myself – Virtual market and trade missions are an excellent resource to explore new markets before jumping on a plane. A specific trade mission in your sector will deliver a clear commercial lens to that local market and it is invaluable.
  • Madeleine advised to trademark your brand unless you have a super unique offering.
  • Ami added to keep an eye out for any existing patents that may be pending that may affect your launch to a new market.

Want to grow your business?

Best Case Scenario offers integrated marketing solutions, email us now to find out more.

About Best Case Scenario

Founded in 2007, Best Case Scenario believe in the power of people to create meaningful change. We provide strategic, targeted end-to-end integrated marketing solutions that utilise industry research to inspire transformational outcomes.

Best Case Scenario leverage strong relationships within the Technology, Government, Financial and Healthcare sectors to bring the right people together to create meaningful conversations. We work with ambitious companies to help them grow and achieve outstanding results.

Got questions? Email us at

Finance News Start-Up Technology

Fintech virtual market mission

London, UK & Melbourne, Australia, 2nd July 2020: Global expansion specialists Newfound today announced the first ever virtual fintech trade mission between the UK and the APAC region since the coronavirus shutdown. The mission aims to open export markets, create new jobs, and scale up opportunities for the fintech sector and the broader digital economy across both regions.

The virtual trade mission has won wide support across both public and private sector with launch partners including Best Case Scenario, FinTech Australia, FinTechNZ, Global Victoria, New South Wales Government, Stone and Chalk and Tech Nation.

“This is an exciting event that will showcase the ‘best of the best’ in the fintech industry across both regions, opening new markets and creating opportunity for expansion, growth and jobs as the global economy looks to recover from the devastating impact of the coronavirus.”

Claire Marriott, CEO of Newfound APAC

Newfound will launch the Market Missions programme with a free event on July 15th to be opened by the Lord Mayor of London William Russell. The launch will feature sessions from leading figures in fintech, who will talk about the challenges and opportunities for fintechs scaling to the UK and Australia in the COVID era.

This will be followed by a 2-week digital trade mission to Australia on September 7th and then a UK equivalent commencing on September 14th. The programme featuring 100+ in-market experts will attract high-growth fintech firms from the UK, EMEA and APAC regions.

The trade mission has gained strong support from the fintech sectors lead industry body, FinTech Australia, with CEO Rebecca Schot-Guppy applauding Newfound’s innovative approach in creating a program where UK fintechs can learn and realise the benefits of an Australian expansion, all without leaving home.

“Newfound’s programme works around the limitations of COVID-19, allowing us to keep growing the global renown of our ecosystem in a period where we are largely cut off from the rest of the world.”

Rebecca Schot-Guppy, CEO of FinTech Australia

With the Australian fintech sectors revenue predicted to exceed 4 billion in investment [1] prior to the coronavirus and with more than 50% of Australian fintechs looking to expand overseas, the timing of this world first trade mission could not be better, as Australia and the UK look to recuperate from the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus.

"It is time to help kickstart the world’s economies and Newfound’s Market Mission for fintechs is a significant step in that direction, as we bring these innovative fintech businesses together, who are ready to grow and expand their operations into new markets.”

Peter Gillingwater, Newfound UK’s CEO and Founder

The Newfound fintech trade mission comes on the heels of positive negotiations that are now underway to create a Free Trade Agreement between the UK, Australia and New Zealand, which Mr. Gillingwater says is creating great excitement across both regions.

“Trade deals between nations and trade missions such as these are key to global economic recovery, which must continue, even with closed physical borders,” Mr her said.

To register your interest in Newfound’s Market Missions programme and attend the event on July 15th 2020 please click here.

News Start-Up

Australian startups inspire me to never give up

One thing I truly love about my job is the opportunity it gives me to meet with inspiring people. There is one particular set of people who never fail to impress me and it’s the ever increasing pool of Australian startups. I’ve worked with a number of startups over the past few months and I’m certainly one of their biggest supporters. 

Culture plays a big part in building an entrepreneurial spirit, if people believe in the skills and knowledge they hold and if start-up success is celebrated the foundations are strong for success.

I want to share with you an exciting opportunity from one of my start-up friends, so if there are any budding entrepreneurs out there who are ready to take the leap read on as this will help you on your way UP!

Little Tokyo Two is helping create a new innovation hub in the heart of Brisbane CBD!  The Capital will be a place where you can ideate, create and execute your project how you want and when you want with the support of Australia’s fastest growing community. Find out how being a part of this community can help your business succeed. It will be home to the likes of experienced entrepreneurs, scaling startups, corporate innovation teams and VC’s.

I’ve certainly got butterflies of excitement in my stomach looking at their new building in Brisbane CBD!