I have lived in Australia for more than 20 years and in these 20+ years, I have owned a business for almost 15 years. In the first couple of years as a new resident in Australia, I had to go through a very steep learning curve. Knowing how to speak the native language and knowing how to sell was not the only expertise that would get me going and growing in a new country. I had to learn how to interpret the commercial language, learn to adapt to their nuances, and to respond in a manner that suited the customer, not so much as me.
It was a relearning exercise that brought me to understand that each country and its culture is unique, however approachable they may seem to be.
In my formative professional years, I worked closely with American, Indian, and Europeans (mostly German) customers. Each of these worked in a starkly different way to the other. For example, I could convince an American customer to buy from me provided I had the right goods at the right price, yet I could never convince my German customer to buy something that I wanted to sell. All I could get from them was “can you deliver by this time and a QoS that complies to (their) DIN standards”.
I have been approached by many organisations, both Australian as well as international, wanting to learn the mechanism of Entering and Succeeding in this region. My advice is simple; be genuine, be transparent, be patient and deliver what you commit to. These are the basic principles of business that will ensure a sustained and expanding market presence in the region. A lot will depend on how you research your customers, understand their pain points and address these with a solution that works for them. I have written articles that relate to this concept. Are you an Inside out or Outside in Strategist?
Most businesses fail or fail to grow in the region because they want to replicate their successes in the USA or Europe (mostly UK) here.
However, as articulated above, different countries and cultures respond differently and a “one shoe fits all” scenario may not necessarily work.
When considering market entry / launching a start-up in Australia, your business should consider 5 immediate factors:
- Is there a need to expand?
- Which country should I expand to, and why should this be Australia?
- When should I enter the Australian market?
- What activities should I locate in Australia?
- How should I go about actually entering the Australian market?