People in Australia have a free-spirited way of life. Nevertheless, Australians are straightforward and honest when it comes to business deals. They highly value professionalism and trustworthiness. With that, it is important to keep in mind multiple things when looking for business partners in this country.
«It is easier to start a business in Latvia. It is hard to maintain a business in Latvia, however. Many old clubs in Riga are closed. Australia, on the other hand, has pubs owned by families for generations. At the same time, it is hard to imagine that I already own three pubs in Australia at my age,» – admits Australia-born co-owner of ALA Pagrabs folk club Krisjanis Putnins.
What to do?
Be very punctual. Always.
Delays are an inexcusable negligence and a sign of lack of professionalism. This is why it is vital to arrive at meetings on time or, better yet, early. It is also highly important to carry out supplies and other work on time. Punctuality is a highly respected trait in Australia.
Prepare for meetings very seriously
«Business here is ruled by the phrase – time is money. This is why a person has to be well-informed about the business environment and people he or she has a meeting arranged. The person aiming to start a business here should be prepared to explain the idea is a clear and concise manner,» – said Kristine Saulite, head of Latvian Association in Australia and New Zealand.
Be prepared for open and specific talks
It is often said about Australians that they are open and direct in conversations and that they expect the same from their potential partners. During presentations, try to stick to rational numbers and facts. Avoid using exaggerations. Partners should be prepared to take active part in the development of a business agreement. «This kind of business approach is very popular in Australia. It first came to Australia from Asia and Middle-Asia, where it is a custom to discuss in detail all parts of business agreements: contract, price, etc.» – explains Saulite.
People familiar with doing business in this country know the importance of a handshake at the beginning of the meeting and eye contact during the handshake.
Fulfil your promises and obligations
Australia has laws, system, rules and regulations that cannot be circumvented. This makes business more expensive, but also more honest, explains the co-owner of ALA pagrabs. Professional requirements in Australia are also higher than those in Latvia. «It is important to remember that a promise is a promise in Australia. In Latvia, by contrast, there is less trust between business partners,» – admits Putnins.
Create contacts and forge a good reputation – it will help get good recommendations and open many doors
Long-term relations are not necessary to start a business. Personal relationships, on the other hand, are very important. If a person leaves a good impression, he can be trusted. Doors will be open for him.
What not to do?
Do not pull your phone from your pocket or bag during the meeting
In Australia, it is believed that a mobile phone on the table clearly shows that there is something more important than the meeting. Because of that, it is polite to put it away from sight. It is absolutely necessary to answer an important phone call, the person should apologize and exit the room.
Do not use «Aussie» slang without a reason
Although Australia’s community is very multi-cultural and open, people who live there respect good language knowledge. Do try to avoid demonstrating your knowledge of local slang words. Stick to traditional and proper English.
Do not exaggerate with your looks and accomplishments
Self-demonstration and self-compliments are considered a bad practice in Australia. Stick to classic business attire when going on a meeting.
Do not give expensive gifts
Expensive gifts are often considered as bribes, which makes them not popular in Australia’s business environment. Business lunches are also quick, simple and are mainly meant to help reach an understanding on different business points. Such lunches are not supposed to help ‘buy’ a potential business partner’s favour.