7 Things You Must Know for Doing Business in Australia and New Zealand
Did you know, New Zealand is on number one and Australia on number eighteen in the World Bank report of ease of doing business of the year 2018? With that said, it wouldn’t be incorrect to state that Australia and New Zealand are the countries where you should definitely plan to expand your business venture.
If you are planning for doing business in Australia and New Zealand, be sure of making a lot of money from these immensely potential markets. Australia is among the top five developed nations of the world while New Zealand is the sixth richest country in the world. The two great economies accept people from across the world that are different in race, religion, culture, and regions and therefore are cosmopolitan in nature.
Though, the capital of Australia is Canberra, major industrial cities are – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Sydney is also the city of Australia having the highest cost of living. Hence, if you are considering doing business in Australia, Sydney or Melbourne should be a great choice.
Similarly, Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand but Auckland is the largest and more developed city than Wellington. Thus, starting a business in New Zealand would be more fruitful if you start from Auckland.
Important Things to Keep in Mind While Doing Business in Australia and New Zealand
1. Greetings and Address
First things first, you need to meet and greet them the right way to make your first impression long-lasting. Australians or Kiwis are not very formal and a casual handshake with a smile is enough to please them in your first visit.
As they follow a subtle informal corporate culture, addressing people with their first names is prevalent in Australia and New Zealand. People generally do not prefer to use any courtesy titles even their first meets.
Aussies and Kiwis value time a lot. Though the work timings are flexible for them but that is not because they do not know the worth of time. Instead, it is because they do a lot of work during their working hours.
If you plan for doing business in Australia or New Zealand and you wish to schedule a meeting with any of them, plan it at least a week prior. Also, it is better to reach a few minutes earlier than the scheduled time of the meeting. They prefer to start meeting with some small talk like sports, climate or about Australia or New Zealand. Be crisp, brief and clear in your conversation because your meeting should also end within the scheduled time.
If you are delayed even by five minutes, you will lose your repute along with their trust in your working style. This deed can also make them feel as if you do not value others’ time and that you are not credible enough to work with them. It might even cost you your business.
3. Customer Relationship
Unlike that in Asia or the Middle East, customer relationships do not matter much while doing business in Australia or New Zealand. This fact can be advantageous for those starting a business in New Zealand or Australia because people here are receptive to changes and new ideas.
However, it means that you need to be extra cautious and innovative while doing business in Australia and New Zealand with your current customers. Else, they won’t think twice to replace you with some other vendor.
Exchanging gifts during business meetings is generally not preferable but you can take one with you if you are invited over to your business associate’s home. Additionally, one can also bring gifts out of courtesy while coming from a different nation as a memoir.
4. Business Discussions and Decision Making
A meeting room in an Australian office has a serious but relaxed environment. On the other hand, it is more of a stern setting while you are in New Zealand. This is because; Kiwis are a bit more formal than their Aussie counterparts.
Both the countries’ people do not believe in bargaining. Hence, they expect you to begin your business discussions with realistic figures. Do not over-price your product/service with a view to lower them during the negotiation process. It will only create a bad impression.
Decision making is slow in both countries. You cannot be aggressive during your negotiations. The high-pressure sales tactics do not work for them either. Patience is the only key while you wait for your Australian or New Zealander prospect to decide.
If your Australian or Kiwi customer is unhappy with your proposal, expect a straightforward “No”. People here are honest and easy. You need not guess the answer. As soon as they are done with the decision, it will be communicated clearly to you.
Also Read: 5 Things You Must Know For Doing Business in Africa
5. Body Language
A firm handshake and strong eye contact are bases of trust-worthy communication. When you are starting a business in New Zealand or Australia, your prospect creates a mental image of you and your proposal during your first meet. If that isn’t strong enough, you’ll have to put in some real hard work to get the deal.
One thing that is to be noted while working with these people is that they do not like people to be in close proximity. That means you shouldn’t invade their personal space. Thus, it is safe to maintain a standard distance of at least one arm length from every Aussie or Kiwi while talking to them. This applies to both formal as well as informal setup.
Proper formal attire is worn during official gatherings and meetings. Both men and women should wear dark-colored, conservative smart business suits for business meetings.
6. Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is seriously maintained in Australia and New Zealand. Even though the working hours are flexible, they have a healthy life outside their professional world. People usually get enough time and space to socialize with their colleagues at their workplaces, and thus like to spend time with their friends and families after work.
Therefore, while at work, discuss all you want to about your business proposal and negotiations. If you are invited by some business associate or prospect for a drink (if you are lucky enough), do not take up the work topic. This time is to socialize. So, make the most of it because this happens rarely.
Both Aussies and Kiwis are hard workers and do not hesitate to take up extra work. That is the reason why their working hours do not remain fixed. Nonetheless, they work hard and party harder even on weekdays.
7. Language and Currency
English is the de facto official language of Australia as well as New Zealand. It is understood and spoken by everyone in the two countries.
Since Australians value time a lot, they even use slangs for many words. For example, they use “doco” for documents, “spreadies” for excel spreadsheets, “presos” for PowerPoint presentations, etc. Hence the name “Aussies” for Australians. Thus, it is better to learn these slangs before doing business in Australia.
Aussies and Kiwis are generally modest while discussing their success stories. Therefore, it is better not to exaggerate your achievements while in discussion with them. People from both Australia and New Zealand are keen to know what you can actually do instead of what you claim to do.
The currency of Australia is Australian Dollar (AUD) while that of New Zealand is New Zealand Dollar (NZD). People are generally open to discuss prices in either AUD or USD in Australia and NZD, AUD or USD in New Zealand.
It is always difficult to grow your business outside the boundaries of your own nation. It is like breaking a cocoon to fight with the outer world. However, just like it is important for the caterpillar to break the cocoon to grow and fly, it is important for you to expand your business outside your region to grow.
A B2B sales consulting firm can help you in breaking your cocoon and fly to Australia and New Zealand. It will not only help you in growing your business financially but also develop in terms of exposure, intelligence, and technology. After all, growth doesn’t come without challenges and when you have a B2B sales consultant supporting you, no challenge is big enough to stop you.