We’re used to thinking of iconic cities like New York, London, and Hong Kong when it comes to the best places to do business overseas. Historically, these are the locations that have been right at the heart of the corporate world. Yet, all successful enterprises know that change is an essential part of growth and development.
And, what’s happening in these big cities – particularly London and New York – is that opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurial magic are fast disappearing. They are being replaced by multinational conglomerates and identikit property development projects. So, a ‘brain drain’ is underway. Smaller companies are moving out to places like Australia and New Zealand, to take advantage of a much more expansive corporate culture.
New Zealand is a particularly fertile country for overseas investors. It has a robust economy and is very friendly to startups and flexible business models. To find out how your company could benefit, read this guide to expanding into the Land of the Long White Cloud.
- Be Ready to Go As Soon As You Arrive
One of the biggest challenges associated with business expansion, particularly overseas, is the fact that it can take so long to prepare a new office or base. If you start from scratch, you’ve got to find a suitable office location, with an agreeable lease. You’ve got to set up a phone line and hook the place up to the internet. You’ve got to furnish it and pay lighting and heating costs. It is time-consuming and very expensive.
Fortunately, there is an easier way. You can hop on a plane, land in New Zealand, and find yourself a great virtual office space in Auckland or Wellington. These amazing facilities offer access to fully equipped suites of corporate tools. They include phone answering services, mail arrangements, IT solutions, private workspaces, coworking environments, high-speed internet, and much more. All you have to do is pay for the services that you consume.
- Don’t Be Intimidated By Upfront Talk
It is often said that the Kiwis are a lot like the British when it comes to character. They like to talk straight and they don’t circumnavigate the big issues. For an outsider, this can be a little jarring at first. If you’re used to lots of formality and social rules when conversing – Chinese and Japanese customs are deeply rooted in tradition, for instance – such a matter of fact attitude is a complete change of pace.
The key to getting on with the locals and forging strong corporate connections is to avoid over-thinking. Kiwis are upfront, honest, and very earnest. You don’t have to dig deep for hidden meanings because they’ll give it to you straight from the outset. This is a great way to do business, because it cuts through the ‘networking’ talk and encourages entrepreneurs to share ideas, build bridges, and identify common interests.
- Learn How to Adapt to a New Calendar
It is important that you learn how to adapt to New Zealand customs and habits really quickly, if you’re trying to set up a business in Auckland, Wellington, or one of the other big cities. For instance, lots of businesses actually shut down completely during December and January. This is quite common and, while you don’t have to take such a long break over the summer, you could find it tough to schedule meetings with local investors, clients, and suppliers.
These are the little details that will help you fit in with your new business environment. The corporate culture in New Zealand is very welcoming to startups and small companies. The major cities play host a number of high-profile networking and ‘startup conventions’ every year. They give overseas investors the opportunity to make valuable industry contacts and they’re full of advice on the best ways to become a dominant force within the market.