1. Learn about your market
Australia is a country of a little over 23 million people with a unique culture and business environment; understanding the needs and wants of Australian consumers will be central to your success doing business there.
The Australian economy has several key drivers; Finance and Insurance lead the way with a roughly 10.4% or $121B share of GDP, Rental, Hiring and Real Estate comes second at 10.2% or $119B and Mining (9.8%/$114B), Manufacturing (9.3%/$109B), Construction (7.7%/$89B) and Cultural/Creative contributes 6.9% or $86B (source: Australian Bureau of Statistics). Government and Economic Development offices such as Austrade or the Economic Development offices of each Australian state can be great tools for helping you learn about Australian business.
2. Learn about your new consumers
Culturally Australians are a very different consumer market than the US or Canada; Australians tend to prefer straight-forward, honest communication and dislike feeling they are being sold to. They tend to prefer modesty and some of the common sales techniques and marketing strategies used in North America can feel like bragging to an Australian audience; at best it falls short of engaging consumers and at worst can tarnish your brand. Australians have a unique dialect and, because of some of the nuances and vocabulary differences, communications intended for other markets are immediately identifiable to an Australian market used to Australian English.
3. Prepare your materials
Once you understand where your business fits in with the existing marketplace and mindset in Australia, you’ll need to ensure that you adapt your brand message, marketing materials and communications to your new audience. Australian English is a very distinctive and the cultural tone is also important so finding a language localization provider, like Australianizers, can help your message land well with your new customers.
4. Don’t forget your web presence and social media
Significant numbers of Australians do product research online and making it possible for them to connect to Australian media in Australian English can help build your brand and create customer loyalty. Facebook, having a .au web domain and Twitter are all great tools for connecting with consumers.
5. Get local help
When possible hire local; Australian agents, sales staff and business development workers all come with a wealth of local knowledge and cultural context; some of which they may not even consciously process. They’ll also speak the Australian English dialect which will help them immediately connect with your new consumers.
Local Lawyers and Accountants can help you navigate a new set of laws and reporting requirements while they help you feel grounded in the local environment. Business clubs, Chambers of commerce and professional associations can also help center your business in its new market and it doesn’t have to be expensive or out of reach for a small business; the more you invest in your new market, the more likely you are to see positive returns.