Australians are diverse.
1 in 4 were born overseas.
1 in 5 speak something other than English at home.
Australians living in western Sydney are even more diverse.
1 in 2 were born overseas.
2 in 5 don’t speak English at home.
In terms of new Australians,
2 in 3 migrants in the last 15 years came on a skills program, to work in occupations where Australia has a skills shortage.
All business migrants arrived with at least $800,000 of capital to invest.
Don’t miss out on these potentially profitable customers.
Invest a little time to understand what it means to be easy to do business with.
Make it easy to do business with you
Simple tips for every business:
Speak slowly, clearly - and avoid slang.
Be patient and smile. This is a good idea when working with any client.
Use images where possible. If you've ever ordered unfamiliar food or walked into a new restaurant, you will appreciate how photos diplomatically take the pain out of ordering.
The pain of paperwork
Many organisations require customers to complete forms and supply documentation:
Real estate agents
Banks, lenders and insurance providers
Phone and utility companies
Car sales and leasing
Doctors and healthcare providers
For those who want to make it easier to do business with new Australians, consider
On forms, use simple English accompanied by icons or images
Providing a checklist of required documents
Include diagrams explaining how a process works
Your investment in making it easy for new Australians to do business with you will be equally appreciated by people who have lived here all their lives. Even if they speak fluent English!
Using technology to make things easier
Our social enterprise has been exploring the challenges people experience in applying for services. We are looking at creative use of technology to make it easier for businesses to serve diverse customers.
For example, screen reading software is designed to help people with vision impairments. It's just as helpful to someone with low literacy. Invest your time - or ask your website provider - to populate the metadata on your website. This makes your online store accessible in more ways than one.
We are looking to create a future where no-one is unnecessarily denied services, even if they are challenged by language, literacy or digital knowledge.
As our first step, IT Gems has been engaging with stakeholders in the international education industry. This business is Australia's third largest export, and 80% of international students go home to influence the decisions of others.
Imagine if we can make it easier for Aussie businesses to connect international students to services. If each student buys just one more service a year, that’s over 800,000 more sales every year.
The next wave of foreign students will come when international borders open. Will your organisation be one of the ones they buy from?
To find out more or to share your insights, contact Laura Dang.