7 cultural tips for doing business in Australia

Australia is a very exciting market for business. Not only has it been on an upward trend in terms of adoption of technology, but it also has some progressive laws supporting business. The country is nevertheless pretty distinct in cultural terms.

While most of the practices in Australia are similar to the West, a few subtle practices are unique. Here are some cultural tips you should consider if you are planning on doing business in Australia.

No need to mention your academic qualifications

Australians generally do not emphasize their academic qualifications during conversations. In fact, they barely mention them during general conversations. Doing otherwise might invite taunts your way.

Needless to say though, academic qualifications are taken seriously if you are looking for a professional job. Having great credentials will also influence the level of esteem that you will be accorded in the business realm.

Punctuality is important

Portrait of happy young Caucasian businessman or student looking at watch and smiling outdoors. Education, business, punctuality concept
Photo: Mangostar, BS

It is part of Australian culture to observe time. If you have proposed to have a business meeting at a particular time, it will be expected that you will arrive at the stipulated time. Because of this, it would be advisable for you to show up a couple of minutes early in case you are going for an important business meeting. Even outside formal occasions, Australians also observe punctuality in everyday circumstances.

Australians have a collaborative culture

Another important tip for success when doing business in Australia is to take advantage of the group dynamics. Australians are very collaborative in decision-making processes. This influences the general worth ethic of the country.

The prevailing trading psychology is also anchored on the basis of consultation. You should, therefore, be patient enough to allow for an all-inclusive process when doing business in Australia.

Opinionated discourse is not a problem

Australians do not shy away from giving strong opinions. In fact, they find it entertaining when somebody gives their views about issues. Whether you are having business or informal discussions, therefore, do not be afraid to give your views on issues.

Businessman in blue suit handshaking at business meeting, trying to make positive first impression on partner at negotiation, welcoming new colleague in office. Successful partnership, close up
Photo: Fizkes, BS

As a business person, you will find this culture to be beneficial to you. If you have reservations for anything, you will not be castigated for sharing it with Australians.

Cynicism is common

You might also notice that Australians tend to be quite cynical especially when powerful or wealthy individuals are involved. While it is normal to be proud of wealth or power in many other cultures around the world, Australians do not particularly fancy those in positions of wealth and power.

Instead, there is a general tendency to have respect for those who seem to be of average means. For this reason, avoiding circumstances that portray you as a wealthy or powerful person will be of great advantage to you.

Australians value pragmatism especially when it comes to marketing campaigns

It is part of Australian culture to expect direct and concise sales techniques. If you are trying to push certain products to the Australian market, make a point of pointing out the benefits of that product as well as some shortcomings. Doing so will be appreciated as a balanced selling technique. Aggressiveness when it comes to sales is also not appreciated in Australia. People tend to look for the vital parts of the sales campaign and making it too aggressive will discredit it.

Women are underrepresented in business but their input is valued

Business women discussing in a meeting
Photo: Chagin, BS

Another important cultural tip you should be aware of is that there is a general push to have more women in business. In recent years, Australians have made huge strides as they seek to have the business environment more balanced. While men generally occupy the larger share of the business community, women have been getting into business in much larger numbers in recent years.

This is because of the ongoing cultural shift towards encouraging more and more women leaders in business. You can, therefore, expect to find Australians being enthusiastic about topics that center around women entrepreneurship.

There are indeed many other things that Australians do which might be considered peculiar in the rest of the world. The above though, are the main cultural tips you should take along with you especially if your focus is on the Australian business world.

Australia is a welcoming country that has continued to receive investment from overseas and setting up camp in this country is bound to be a worthwhile adventure.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world. You can contact Mike here.
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