A Happy New Year and best wishes for the Year of the Pig to all of our members, partners and followers.
We kicked off the New Year this week with a highly interactive session of ACSME members and guests in which we asked two questions:
What was the one most important thing you learnt in 2018?
What is your one major challenge for 2019?
For the first question we went around the table and here is a flavour of some of the answers:
The importance and complexity of “Face” - how to give it, receive it and save it!
China is a unique and different market - very different to US and Europe
Doing business in China requires persistence to get the outcomes you hope for
The importance and value of giving “Face” to the Chinese
The Chinese focus on “off market” property investments
China’s digital market is booming
You have to invest time and energy to succeed in China
Importance of building relationships in China
Lots of change taking place in China, especially tightening. Will have an impact on Australia
Guanxi and relationships are important - not just in China
Australia’s Immigration Department is not doing its job properly - 86% of cases are overturned on appeal
Chinese values are remarkably similar to Australia - focus on trust, respect, family, relationships
Chairman Mao Zedong is still highly respected in China, especially in regional areas
You must have people on the ground who you trust to manage Government relationships and commercial ties with Australia
It takes longer to build relationships than you expect
The pace of work is much slower in Australia than China. It takes time to adapt and catch up with the pace of China
E-commerce is rapidly growing in China, O2O (offline to online) is a new development
In the rest of the time available we discussed and brainstormed the challenges for two businesses, one in China, the other in Australia.
Australian furniture designer/manufacturer
This company had entered the Chinese market and was targeting the lower/middle end of the market with Australian designed furniture. They were interested in targeting 2nd tier cities. We discussed:
Western brands appeal to the Chinese market as a “lifestyle enhancement”.Their advantage is also having local knowledge.
Target customers through E-marketing and E-commerce
Research the strategies of competitors eg Ikea to incorporate some of their own strategies
The company should have a ‘global’ mentality so that it can appeal to a wider audience
Conduct full and extensive market research to target the right audience
Source local Chinese partners to provide on the ground support and advice
Well known Chinese IT and Telecommunications provider breaking into Australia (China Unicom)
China Unicom are well known in China but relatively unknown in Australia. How do they break in to the SME market in Australia?
Target Chinese companies already operating in Australia where they are already well known and trusted
Make a local acquisition to speed up the business in Australia
Hire Australian employees to spearhead their local image and business development
Partner with local telco providers eg Telstra, TPG
Help and support Australian SMEs in China with their IT, telco and business development issues
Sponsor an Australian sports team for brand recognition.
Appoint a high profile Australian “Ambassador”
Next ACSME Meeting
We look forward to running similar interactive meetings in 2019 and, to take part in these sessions, we encourage ACSME members and their guests to attend the next ACSME Roundtable on Tuesday 5th March at 12.30pm.