Innovative Tools for SMEs: Broaden Your Horizons


The situation facing a business wanting to export or import can be hard to navigate. Even the basic information you're in need of can be difficult to attain without spending far too much time looking for it, pouring valuable hours into a task, and following up on several things at once.

It can seem daunting, not to say completely overwhelming. Additionally, the stakes are often higher for a smaller company because you just don't have the elbow room for any serious losses, and you might not be in a position to employ someone just to deal with those stresses for you. SMEs risk losing out simply due to time pressures, and complicated regulations.

Finding a comprehensive source for your needs is a great help but until quite recently, no such thing has existed in Australia.

Australia thrives on imports and exports

The effects that importing and exporting have on the Australian economy are not to be understated. Foreign trade and FDI are essential building blocks to the Australian economy, as they are for most developed economies. Exporting especially is the bridge that can connect Australian business with countless markets around the world, opening new opportunities for SMEs. Business Insider has identified evolving technology and digital advances as a key factor that assists the Australian economy by increasing export and import opportunities.

Innovative tools for SMEs: broaden your horizons Innovative tools for SMEs: broaden your horizons

Founded a few years back by three people who all had extensive knowledge of the processes involved in exporting and importing, CargoHound aims to provide a way for businesses to easily move their goods and equipment through different countries. Founders Ian Smith, Pete Johnson and Kim Mauch, all people with experience in the industry, set out to start a business that understood its objectives and market from the inside out.

Innovation goes hand in hand with foreign trade

The new National Innovation Agenda gives Australian businesses the chance to broaden their horizons. Innovation and exports are certainly linked, through innovative tools that make foreign trade accessible to SMEs but also through lone entrepreneurs. Business Insider argues that not only does it further Australia's own innovation, but also exposes Australian businesses to new markets and healthy competition with leading innovators. Digital advances are driving industries across the globe and Australia's new determination in that area is a welcome new trend, since agricultural products alone account for a significant turnover.

Doors opening for the smaller business

Recently acknowledged by Anthill for their dynamic and flexible business, CargoHound is providing some very innovative solutions for SMEs. It works by bringing together importer/exporters with freight forwarders through a platform in which needs and quotes are (anonymously) discussed until a deal is made. CargoHound charges freight forwarders a subscription fee and a commission fee, which pays the bills but also serves to reassure exporters and importers that they will be taken care of by the company. For those looking for a freight forwarder they can access reliable companies, and they're spared the headache of due diligence.

The idea to make use of a platform designed that makes the waters easier to navigate and is hugely beneficial to any smaller business hoping to expand globally in any way. CargoHound aims to eliminate that uncertainty as much as possible, with a goal to provide transparency and clear terms for all parties involved.

Dun and Bradstreet report that there is still only a small number of businesses involved in exporting, despite the many potential benefits of reaching out to foreign markets.

For an SME or an entrepreneur this is a great tool that makes it much easier to start the process of import/export even if you're diving into brand new waters.

Lina Barfoot

Editor at SavvySME

All things marketing and advertising interest me greatly.