Telling the truth about SME life today

Quick shot: going international

The founder of Pacific Direct, Lara Morgan, believes that exporting is the key to entrepreneurial success. Here’s why:

“Only 23 per cent of businesses currently export, and that’s a real shame,” she says. 

Pacific Direct, Lara Morgan’s company, sold in 110 countries, so she knows what she’s talking about. 

“There are really good reasons to export you continue to grow, but using someone else’s money. That’s a very good reason, isn’t it?”

The first lesson, she says, is that wherever you export, get your money first. “If you have a good enough product, and someone will pay for it upfront, keep doing that and think strategically about where you want to go.”

She adds that in the Middle East, for example, you can use letters of credit, which “means you don’t have to have quite the cash required to grow, and they’ll pay by advanced payment”.

Scoping out the competition is key. Unless you learn who you’re up against, how can you know how to be the best in the market, she asks. “Just get on an airplane and find out!”

Morgan concludes: “There is no excuse not to export, people put up unnecessary barriers, and that’s a waste of time. You’re lucky in that you speak English, language will never be an issue. The issue is whether you can sell.”


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