MULLALEY business Lively Linseed should have its products in the United Arab Emirates in just a few weeks, after working on a deal for about 18 months.
Business owner Jacqui Donohue said she’d secured a purchase order for a small consignment, from a high-end hypermarket with outlets throughout the Gulf states and India.
Mrs Donohue said there were still details to be ironed out, but she hoped to have Lively Linseed on shelves by the end of Ramadan.
“We’re nutting out if we need to change our packaging in any way – sometimes you need to put an Arabic ingredient list on it,” she said.
“We’re just getting the product completely right before we send it, so it gets expressed through customs rather than being held.
“I suppose one should never count one’s chickens before they hatch, but I’m fairly confident …
“Once I get to the point where I have a purchase order and we have nutted out a price, I haven’t had a deal fall through at this point – but you never know.”
Mrs Donohue said Lively Linseed only ever sent small consignments initially.
The UAE now joins China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan as buyers of Lively Linseed products.
Mrs Donoghue said she usually cold-called retailers – an “unconventional method” but one that was working.
She attended a Namoi Unlimited event on Friday in Tamworth, where current or potential exporters “speed-dated” overseas-based NSW Trade & Investment representatives.
She said the delegates from China, Japan and South Korea had all been able to offer new leads.
She was particularly keen on cracking India, though.
“I’m trying to get through to the Indian e-commerce sites, which are growing exponentially,” she said.
“Their internet and e-commerce is growing at a faster rate than China, which is phenomenal.”
She said only 2 per cent of Australian small to medium enterprises exported and, although her advice was “just do it”, people also needed “persistence and patience”.
“We just cold-call who we wish to deal with, rather than go through an importer who has a whole portfolio of products and companies they’re looking after, and lose contact with the end user,” she said.
She said this allowed her to gain feedback on the product, “which is really valuable when you’re first starting out”.
One example has been downsizing the product pack size, to better suit the daily shopping habits and small retailing and living spaces of urban Chinese.