Hi Aunty B,
I read your advice every day and admire your straight-forward thinking and approach. I always think about how I would solve some issues you deal with.
I’m new to the entrepreneur world and am excited to be opening my first business in an industry I have worked for others in for the past 20 years.
My problem is that it seems that every person I meet, or contact to give business to and help me create my business, are letting my down. Like taking deposits but missing deadlines. Most don’t even call, and I have to do the old email and phone call chase to get answers.
It seems to be the Aussie way of “she’ll be right mate” or “chill out dude”. I was so annoyed in the beginning that I took my two major manufacturing jobs to China; at a time when I should be manufacturing and supporting jobs in Australia.
Somehow it was easier to get the quote, set up an international internet banking account, pay the transfer fee to convert the currency, and pay for freight, than it was to get a returned email or phone call from inside Queensland or the whole of Australia.
Don’t get me wrong – the quotes I did get eventually from the local companies demonstrated they hadn’t forgotten how to charge; it was customer service they had trouble with.
I get the distinct impression from them that I should “be grateful” for what they are doing for me, and the fact that I am paying hard cash for this service is getting so frustrating. But am I to blame for paying on their terms and accepting the revised finish dates? I’ve got one guy on his second and final chance.
Out of all the companies I have dealt with in the past year, the best was a young Brazilian commercial art student who is studying in Australia, who was hungry and eager to please, and did what he said he would when he would.
When will Australian businesses wake up to themselves. I can see now why Pacific Brands toyed with the pros and cons of going offshore.
Any tips? I am sick of trying to keep the peace. Or should I start to try getting my money back?
Aussie Aussie Aussie, NO! NO! NO!
Frustrated Uncle P,
Dear Uncle P,
Like anywhere in the world, there are great businesses and crappy businesses. Many first-time entrepreneurs tell me that the hardest part of the start-up was finding the right suppliers and partners. Once they get that right, they were off!
So the first thing you must do is understand that setting up the right partnerships at the beginning is time consuming and difficult. It involves many interviews, and when you find the right partners it does not matter where they are located.
We live in a world of global supply chains, and you will be at a disadvantage to your competitors if you narrow your field of suppliers and manufacturers through any do-good intentions.
The second thing you must understand is you are in business to make a profit for your shareholders. When you do that, you create jobs. What a great way to support jobs in Australia.
But thinking you must choose Australian manufacturers that miss deadlines and don’t return calls just because they are “Australian” is ridiculous.
So you must change your perspective.
Everything you do in business has to be the best in the world. You start a global search. If you happen to find “the best” in Australia – and let me tell you that this certainly exists – then great!
And one last tip: Our SmartcCompany readers understand service, and NEVER miss deadlines. Not sure what industry you are in, but let me know and I can send on to you any interested Aussie parties who think they are global best!
Your Aunty B.
I knew you’d come through.
I certainly took what you have written on board.
I didn’t mean to stereotype Aussies, being one, but after following a forever trail of cold leads and having people say they are interested and will call you etc. You pay them and you expect a little update once in a while.
A majority of my furniture and equipment are being made and are world firsts, maybe that’s why people are struggling, but a call or email and to be honest rather then lie and say, “Yeah it will be ready next week”, sure gets to a point of no longer being novel.
You really have to look at thinking outside the square on not just the product, but how to get the product made in the first place.
My friend put it all into words that made sense: “Nobody will be as passionate about this but you, that’s why you will succeed.”
You know things already improved once I let a load off to you. I got back up, dusted myself off, and have looked at things in a different view.
I am entering the hospitality industry and will invite you to Brisbane for opening night, depending on my current suppliers, this could be sooner or later. :/
I’ll keep you posted though. 🙂
Uncle P was for P.O
now it Uncle C for Contented.
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