Globalization has permeated across all spheres of life but arguably businesses have been the greatest benefactors of this phenomenon. Companies no longer limit their horizons to their immediate surroundings when looking for new opportunities. Instead, more attention is given to foreign locations that can yield high returns. The paper will look at what such expansions entail through a life coaching business based in the United States. Its strategy is to enter the Australian market.
Description of the business
The company chose for analysis specializes in a relatively new form of business service known as life coaching. This company was chosen because the degree of acceptance of this service in the US is much higher than it is in any other part of the world. Usually, the company (through its life coaches) assists people in reaching their full potential. Much like the usual sports coaches, life coaches motivate, assist and support their clients throughout life’s challenges. Although the term might seem ambiguous, a life coach is one who facilities the personal development of individuals by helping them set up and achieve their goals (Brock, 2008). It should be noted that these individuals are not psychiatrists or counselors because, unlike the latter professionals, life coaches concentrate on the present to determine how one’s future will become. Counselors and therapists often dwell on past experiences and even makeup theories to help unravel such pasts. Nonetheless, employees within this business do not just operate in isolation. Most of their concepts find semblance from career counseling, sociology, and psychology. In other words, clients who come to this business can enjoy the following services: values assessment, goal setting, behavior modeling, and behavior modification. The company is based in the City of New York but plans on expanding into Australia i.e. Melbourne and Adelaide.
The life coaching industry initially started as a very small one in the West but has now grown by leaps and bounds. Previously, life coaching was mostly associated with the business arena. However, nowadays, it encompasses a series of challenges such as health and exercise, personality development, communication, relationships, and restoring work-life balance (Williams, 2007). Previously, regulation was not common in the field as it was argued that no diagnosis was offered for problems. However, these days, individuals are keen on certification as dupes have arisen claiming that they can offer these services. Also, it has now become common to find that most businesses are aligning themselves with reputable coaching associations to gain leverage over their competitors. The industry has also employed a wide number of technologies such as video online coaching through web cameras or telephones. This industry is very reputable and has been acknowledged as one of the fasted growing industries in the service-based sector.
The main group being targeted for this service is composed of professional middle to high-income earners living in urban areas who feel that they need to achieve more or who want to become successful. Individuals who will approach the company will range from those who hold subordinate positions in their firms and feel that they need greater rewards in their current jobs or new ones. Some clients will constitute weight-conscious or fitness-conscious individuals who want to start taking control of their health. Some will be family members who may be trying to balance their work with their personal life. Others may be living in fear and insecurities and therefore need direction on how they can get out of such a lifestyle while other clients will be interested in becoming better communicators both at their workplace and with their families and friends.
The latter mentioned clients will likely be able to purchase the service on offer because they will either belong to a middle-income or high-income bracket. The problems mentioned above are common to both these categories of individuals and some of them just require orientation or encouragement to head in the right direction.
Research has shown that almost any person can hire a life coach. However, because of financial constraints and a lack of focus, middle-aged citizens will likely be the most receptive (Lorber, 2008). Therefore, advertisements will be tailor-made for this age group. The nature of the corporate arena is likely to cause pressure upon its members; therefore, this service will be quite beneficial to white-collar employees in high-stress or competitive firms. Men or women with families will also be an important target in this business because work-life balance and stressful relationships can take their toll on such persons. Therefore they will be an essential demographic group for the service offerings. Since Australians have a relatively high standard of living, most of the members of these demographics will likely be able to afford the service.
Cultural and political aspects
Australia is a very urbanized state- in fact, one of the most urbanized in the world. Its populace resides mostly in cities and towns near the coast. Also, it has representatives from almost all parts of the world although the largest percentages are Caucasians of English descent. Here, approximately eighty percent of its citizens speak the English language. Consequently, there will be no language barrier for a life coach business expanding from the US to Australia. Also, a majority of this country’s population adhere to the Christian faith thus implying that they do not possess conservative values and beliefs that might prevent them from hiring life coaches. It is a known fact that in certain cultures, individuals frequently retreat from engaging in actions that are gauged as too competitive since commonality is more important than personal achievement. But fortunately, this is not the case with Australians. Most of them represent a typical western culture of pursuing one’s ambitions and dreams (McDonald, 2002). This will be key in causing most of them to use this particular service on offer.
Australia’s political environment is also quite stable. Because of the relative homogeneity of its citizens (80% have an English descent) then cases of conflict are not very common. Its people also have a strong sense of brotherhood which is often called ‘mate ship’. Part of the reason for this strong sense of togetherness lies in the fact that the country has a small population and forging friendships with one another could be more beneficial than confronting each other. The country is also very democratic with elections carried out in a free and fair manner. Its legal institutions are also quite effective as it has a fairly low crime rate. To this end, Australia would be ideal for the life coaching business as company representatives need not worry about their safety when traveling from client to client. The nature of the business is such that it requires a high level of interaction.
Economy of Australia
One of the most lucrative aspects of Australia as a business destination is its strong economy. This country boasts of a seventeen-year growth of three-point three percent per year (on average) (Australian Government, 2010) In the OECD, most other countries normally grow at a rate of about two point two. Consequently, this country would be ideal for such a business venture. On top of the latter, Australia’s level of industrial, labor, and agricultural productivity is the highest in the Pacific-Asian region. One of the reasons behind such a strong economy is that the country has been implementing a very sound economic policy. In other words, this nation has a very transparent governance structure and corporate-based regulations. The country also has very minimal trade barriers. The World Bank reported that it takes only two days to set up a business in Australia while doing so in other countries of the OECD might take twenty days.
The Australian government has offered several incentives to any investor who enters the country. For instance, the corporate tax does not fluctuate with the type of business as all corporations abide by a flat tax rate of 30%. Its value-added is only ten percent and this makes it quite conducive for business. On top of the latter, the country has heavily invested in the knowledge sector. ICT has been one of the most influential reasons behind its sound economy. This will imply that the life coach business under analysis is likely to benefit substantially since IT will form a crucial aspect of service provision. Studies show that approximately twenty-five thousand companies exist in this country. It has a very strong stock exchange especially because half of the population own shares. These parties will likely respond quite positively to a life coaching service because their financial position will allow them to do so. It should be noted that there are several life coaching services in Australia currently, however, an American-based firm is likely to inject a new dimension to the local market because coaching in the US has advanced to a higher level than in the Australian market.
My business strategy
Since the company under consideration already has intense experience in the field of life coaching in the US, it will simply implement some of the strategies that have worked in the US to Australia. Citizens in these two countries are both highly urbanized and westernized. The stressful corporate environment back in the US will be more or less the same as that in Australia. Consequently, minimal resources need to be spent on training company employees on how to handle Australian clients. Also, Australia and the US are both multicultural societies; the life coaching firm will take advantage of this diversity to leverage and grow the business. (McAllister, 2003)
This business will respond to local needs by establishing e-coaching meetings as well as telemeetings with clients. Individuals will likely look for credibility in this service area, therefore, only certified life coaches will be taken to this country. Different approaches will be used for different Cities selected. Areas with higher numbers of family households will be subjected to greater work-life balance coaching than business-centered coaching. Also, areas with greater IT deployment will utilize more teleconferencing than those without.
To be competitive, the company will introduce relatively new forms of coaching such as conflict coaching and Christian coaching. The company will also employ the services of some successful Australian entrepreneurs to endorse the services offered by the firm. It will also seek new demographics such as the elderly to expand its market base and stand out from the rest.
Australia is an ideal investment location owing to its strong economy, sound tax policies, stable political environment, and the similarity of its culture to the American one. Although the life coaching business has already grown in Australia, a fresh approach from a foreign country will likely receive greater appreciation than the local counterparts. This business will therefore do well in such a location.
Australian Government. (2010). Australia- a competitive and stable economy. Web.
Brock, V. (2008). Grounded theory of emergence and roots of coaching. Human development journal, 13(4), 46.
Lorber, L. (2008). Coaching –is it worth the money? Wall street journal.
McAllister, I. (2003). Social sciences in Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
McDonald, J. (2002). Australian society and art. Melbourne: Polity Press
Williams, P. (2007). Evolution and history of life coaching. NY: Norton