Business is definitely nothing new to Tony Dormer, Managing Director of accounting firm Tricor ChewandDormers who established his first business about 40 years ago. In fact, Dormer believes that entrepreneurship was always his destiny.
“I think I was always going to be an entrepreneur. From a very young age I wanted to set off in that direction, so it was just the path towards that,” he explained.
“I left senior management and started a business in 1978, and it’s just gone from there.”
During his podcast interview with the Aus-Asia Business Program’s Stacey Martin, Dormer explained the importance of business owners obtaining a trustworthy, competent accountant.
“[Finding the] best accountant for you is a really important aspect of getting into business, because so many small businesses get into trouble so early on in their business,” he said.
“Your accountant has really got to be up to date, he has to be digitised, and he’s got to be someone you’ve got a relationship with; someone you can talk to about anything. Accountants are largely a lot more than business advisors; they’re almost a psychologist in a sense because you’re going to be with that person for at least 20 years on a journey from nothing to hopefully 20 million.
“It’s almost like a marriage.”
Dormer experienced a lot during his tenure as President of the NSW Business Chamber, which he noted is “the second oldest company in Australia next to Westpac; Westpac is 200 years old, we’re 190 years old.”
He believes that utilising the services of organisations like the NSW Business Chamber is a smart strategy for budding international businesspeople, with assistance and guidance being offered across a wide range of areas, as well as the chance to network.
A belief that the Asian market is easy to crack is a common misconception, said Dormer: “So many people think it’s easy because the market is so big overseas – so much bigger than our little country here, but it’s not that easy.”
The multi-discipline professional services firm that Dormer established 40 years ago merged in September 2017 to form Tricor ChewandDormers. The firm provides in-bound and out-bound business advisory, management consulting, tax and compliance, bookkeeping corporate services, immigration assistance and financial planning.
Tricor has offices in 37 cities across 20 countries and territories around the world, the head office is based in Hong Kong. Tricor’s client portfolio includes over 1,000 companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, more than 500 companies listed in Singapore and Malaysia and over 40% of Fortune Global 500 companies.
Rounding out a bulging CV, Dormer has recently co-authored a book, Born to Lead?, which focuses on national and international leadership figures.
“Me and my co-writer Charisse Gray interviewed 10 top Australian and international leaders about their journey to becoming leaders. In particular we started out by asking the question, were you born to lead?” he said.
“There’s a recent Harvard research program in conjunction with London University that indicates there’s actually a leadership gene in some people.
“We translated that into one chapter per leader. I call it a coffee-book read of leadership skills and leadership insights from people who have really been there and done it and are still doing it from a leadership point of view.”
Dormer concluded his interview with sage tips for listeners who are looking to expand their business into Asian markets.
“Have someone on the ground.
“Access government grants.
“Make sure you’ve got the funding in place.
“Be conservative in your projections.”