The Business Advisory Blog

The Business Advisory Blog

Insight, news and updates from Alliott NZ Chartered Accountants, Auckland New Zealand. The views expressed here are the views of the author and should be discussed in further detail should an article be relevant to your individual circumstances.

While every effort has been made to provide valuable, useful information in this publication, this firm and any related suppliers or associated companies accept no responsibility or any form of liability from reliance upon or use of its contents. Any suggestions should be considered carefully within your own particular circumstances, as they are intended as general information only.

Greg Millar & Vanessa Williams
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Why face time with your customers, suppliers and peers is so important

Whilst attending the Alliott Group Worldwide Annual Conference during October of this year, we were reminded of one key, fundamental fact time and again: Never underestimate the power of being there in person. We learnt so much during our four days in Hong Kong but we kept coming back to this simple truth. Why? Because it's a statement that rings true for all our customers, especially those of you entering new markets overseas, as much as it does for ourselves.

We'd like to share some some of the reasons why we believe that's the case:
  • Doing business in other countries is getting harder not easier.
    Governments are adopting stricter regulatory regimes and tax laws are toughening up, in particular around funding and anti-laundering legislation. You can read a lot on the internet but in the end its just theory. It's important that you have someone you can trust on the ground in the country that you want to do business in. Someone with the local knowledge and expertise to explain how things actually work and it will pan out practically.
  • Think global, act local.
    With modern communication and business tools (such as Xero), it's easier to head offshore and test out new markets than it used to be. But the actual logistics of doing business in another country needs someone there, on the ground, to personally make sure that everything works as it should.
  • You have to be there to take advantage.
    It's essential to go to relevant industry events, conferences and tradeshows in the countries that you're doing business in. If you're not there you miss out. For example, we got the opportunity to put forward a proposal to a large international company as a result of socialising with a colleague during the conference. If we hadn't been there we would have never had the opportunity.
  • It comes down to the fundamental principles of relationship.
    If we hadn't taken the time to go there and meet with people and get to know them better, we would have never had the opportunity to pitch for business.
Being at the conference re-enforced that we are part of a large and prominent worldwide team of very highly skilled, highly motivated accountants, laywers and consultants. We know that through the Alliott Group our customers wanting to break into new markets overseas have access to an experienced network of local contacts to help get them started on the right path. The big plus for our customers is that the practices in the Group share the same business philosophy and way of doing business that we do. It was reassuring to know that we are part of an alliance of firms at the forefront of their professions.

We came away from the conference with the realisation that:
  • Our customers and Kiwi businesses in general, are well placed to expand overseas.
    When they are ready to go there, we have the contacts and can refer our clients to in-country experts in the Alliott Group to get their local business relationships off on the right foot . Plus New Zealand Businesses are pretty nimble and efficient in comparison to those offshore, thanks to our early adoption of technology and our 'can do' attitude.
  • The size of the opportunities overseas are huge.
    The scale of business and the enormity of the markets can be daunting but the opportunity is great. Because there is less choice in New Zealand, over time we have learnt that whatever we do here has to be done well if we are to succeed. This ingrained ethos means we have the potential to do incredibly well overseas.
Finally, never underestimate the power of being there in person.

If you want help with your overseas expansion, please call us on 09 520 9200 or email

Topics: business relationships overseas expansion Partnership relaltionships