Australia, Business, Culture, Etiquette, Networking, LATAM

Business culture and etiquette in Australia

Expanding your business into a territory such as Australia, whether you are a national or from another country, can unlock a whole host of opportunities for your organization and help you to make more money. However, as with any other country, you will need to understand business culture and etiquette in Australia.

Indeed, there are some incredible investment opportunities within the country, particularly if you have a business in Latin America and want to export agricultural goods to Australia, where consumers are willing to pay a higher price for quality materials and produce.

However, it is important that you understand the business culture and etiquette of Australia, and make changes to your business and market entry to ensure you’re impressing the right people and putting your business in the best possible stead for growth and expansion. Below, we offer an introduction to business culture and etiquette in Australia to give you a helping hand.

Business culture and etiquette in Australia

Whether you’re situated in Latin America or the United States, the chances are that the way in which you do business will differ to the way it’s done in Australia. Of course, the business world remains mostly the same – networking is important, and it pays to put in the hours to build and maintain relationships with key clients who will future-proof your organization. But there are some subtle differences, and it’s important that you understand them before you get started.

Helpful Tips for Doing Business in Australia
There is a unique business culture and etiquette in Australia
  • Modesty: Like the British, Australians are modest, and don’t like people who big themselves or their businesses up. Of course, you should sell the benefits of working with your business, but you should be modest and put the facts on the table. Be friendly and passionate about what you do, but don’t go in for the hard sell, as it won’t work! In the same breath, remember that Australians won’t necessarily shout about their success from the rooftop – don’t assume a potential client isn’t successful because they’re not wearing an expensive Rolex or showing off how much they’re making.
  • Straightforward nature: In terms of business culture and etiquette in Australia, people are very blunt and to the point, and don’t want to spend months chatting before they buy or sell to you. This is both a blessing and a curse, as it means you can enter quick and fruitful partnerships, but it also means that you have to be prepared for rejection – if you’re trying too hard to sell or you’re frustrating them by contacting them too often, they just won’t be interested.
  • Slower decision making: The Australian business scene is diverse and ever-changing, but one thing is for certain: they take time when it comes to making decisions. Exercise some patience and don’t try to push sales, as you’ll only turn off a potential buyer.

Networking When Doing Business in Australia

Infographic: steps to form a company in Australia
To increase the probability of a successful business venture in Australia, it is fundamental that you understand their business etiquette and culture.

Whilst Australians are less inclined to attend endless networking meetings and catch-ups before they work with another company, you should still put in the effort to impress. Before you do, make sure you understand the business culture and etiquette in Australia:

  1. Be informal: Australians aren’t very formal, so be relaxed and casual when you are greeting a potential client or business partner. However, stick to a polite ‘Hello’ and follow with standard English terms.
  2. Talk about the right stuff: If you’re making small talk, then stick to things like the weather, sports and pop culture, and avoid things such as religion, sex, and politics to stay on the safe side. 
  3. Be polite: Make sure that you arrive early when you’re meeting an Australian, and follow Australian working culture. You shouldn’t assume that, because a contact has invited you out for a catch-up, that they want to talk about business, so let them make the first move and take it in turns to buy rounds of drinks.

Dress smart: Just because Australians are more relaxed, that doesn’t mean you need to dress down. Stick to suits or a smart dress, and bring along a business card, too.

Wrapping up

Understanding the differences between the business culture and etiquette in Australia and in your own country is important, so follow the tips that have offered above and you’ll have more confidence when navigating the market and talking to the right people. Of course, the majority of the differences are common sense, so practice good manners and you shouldn’t run into issues.

To learn more about the Australian economy, the business opportunities to form a company in Australia, and how you might take advantage of these political shifts, please contact us today.

A Biz Latin Hub infographic of the key services provided including company formation, hiring & PEO, and legal services
Key services offered by Biz Latin Hub to help with understanding business culture and etiquette in Australia

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Craig Dempsey

Craig Dempsey

Craig is a seasoned business professional in Latin America. He is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Biz Latin Hub Group that specializes in the provision market entry and back office services. Craig holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, with honors and a Master's Degree in Project Management from the University of New South Wales. Craig is also an active board member on the Australian Colombian Business Council, and likewise also active with the Australian Latin American Business Council.

Craig is also a military veteran, having served in the Australian military on numerous overseas missions and also a former mining executive with experience in various overseas jurisdictions, including, Canada, Australia, Peru and Colombia.

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