I am from France and came to Australia while I was working for PricewaterhouseCoopers. I have 13-year experience in Management Consulting but I have always considered myself as an entrepreneur. In 2010, I founded Australiance with the objective of assisting other international professionals and entrepreneurs to fulfil their dream to come live and work in Australia. We offer a wide range services to companies and startups which want to enter the Australian market. Our mission is to act as your “one stop shop” to succeed here.
Cultural aspects to consider when setting up a business in Australia:
At first sight, the Australian culture is very “laid back” and people are very friendly. The expectations are nonetheless very high and it is difficult to get your first leads to trust you and buy your products/services when you don’t have any local reference or case studies. On the one hand, Australia is very open for disruptive businesses (Uber or Airbnb have become major players in no time, and companies like Rocket Internet have been replicating business models from other countries in Australia for a while), on the other hand, you need to have a good network here to get traction.
Australia is one of the most digital market in the world (4 th country in the world with the highest smartphone penetration). Also for traditional businesses, for selling products/services, you will need to choose your starting point in Australia carefully as the country is huge and the regulations may change from one state to another.
A region open to entrepreneurship:
Sydney has become one of the worldwide entrepreneurial hubs, and access to capital is easier than in most developed countries. Even large listed companies finance their innovation through startups or hackathons. Innovation is a big agenda for the new Australian Prime Minister, who declared last December 2015: “Entrepreneurs create jobs, this is why we’re doing so much to encourage new businesses.” There are now numerous tax incentives for small businesses as well as for investors.
The entrepreneurial mind-set is very present in Australia and there are some great success stories coming from Australia like the startup Maestrano that has grown in 6 countries and is now signing with contract with PwC or NAB 2.5 years after their seed funding.
Furthermore, when compared to European countries, it is very easy and quick to set up a business in Australia (if you have the right visa: Getting working visa for your staff may take longer than expected).
Disruption & local partners are key success factors:
- Be disruptive – Australia remains a small market with sometime only 2 or 3 key players per industries. If you come with a proven concept in other geographies and have the right strategy to enter the market, then you are well set for success.
- Find the right local partners to give you a feedback on your positioning and who can open doors to introduce you to your first clients.
Obstacles to overcome:
- Australia is a very expensive country to live in, so be careful when planning your Year 1 budget, especially around the staff costs.
- If you export products, check carefully the custom duty and conditions (the “Wine Equalisation Tax” is 29% for example and the Good and Services Tax of 10% applies on top of that)
If you are willing to explore business opportunities in Australia, contact Leo for a chat and see how
the Australiance Team can assist you to come Down Under.