Business Practices in Australia

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The Fundamental Principles of Business Culture
The principles appreciated in business are: courtesy, formal relations, mutual confidence and respect. Australia is the country of networking and clubs. It can be particularly useful to set up a network of business acquaintances. The notion of punctuality is very important. In the same way, decisions are taken quickly in Australia. The Australians are much less formal and can be put off if the person they are meeting is too distant.
First Contact
Take an appointment at least two weeks ahead of time. Avoid the first two weeks of January and the last two weeks of December which are periods when people often take their holidays.
If necessary, let them know if something crops up.
Shake hands with the person you are meeting and greet her/him by name putting Ms or Mr before it.
How to Present Yourself
Begin by introducing yourself, saying «Nice to meet you», then give your first name and your surname.
Business Relations
Avoid behaving too quickly in too friendly a manner towards the person you are meeting. However, Australians do not necessarily separate their professional life from their private life very strictly. As the relationship develops, people often go beyond the professional context.
In business, exchanging gifts is quite rare in Australia and is limited to major occasions.
Business Communication
Be patient as negotiations can take a long time, but you do not usually have to wait for decisions to be made. Avoid confrontations or pressure tactics. Do not come with preconceived ideas, or ready-to-use solutions; but do not hesitate to debate and defend your point of view. A very precise written contract will make the agreement official.
Dress Code
Discreet and stylish, rather conservative for the first meeting, then adapted according to the appointment and the type of industry. Men wear classic, dark suits.Women wear plain suits. It is not impossible, according to the industry concerned and the meeting place, to have a more relaxed dress code (open collar, for example, for men).
Visiting Cards
Visiting cards are exchanged at the first meeting, without any particular formality. A translation in English on the back of the card is a plus.
For Further Information
Website about business in Australia

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