Our world is becoming more and more globalized, with more corporations of all sizes are embracing this world and trading overseas. Increasing opportunities are available to corporations who embrace this, and not just multinationals but smaller businesses are seeking these opportunities.
Where a corporation conducts its business dictates how it should manage their business protocol and personal style. Highlighted below are some key and conventional aspects to understand about conducting business overseas:
It is good practice to spend some time preparing for your business trips and learning about a region’s history, customs and culture. This will allow you to prepare appropriately and assemble a number of talking points, which could be useful when you meet with potential (and existing) clients.
When conducting business in other countries, what you consider to be “normal” communication protocols may not be considered conventional in the region that you are visiting. It is best to read up on this before your trip. For example – in some countries, shaking hands at the start of a meeting is considered polite. However, in other countries the handshake may be replaced by a bow. It can be helpful to observe native business people first, and adapt your style accordingly so as not to offend your overseas business contacts during meetings.
Understanding the market and the economy
Although on the surface the new country has a similar economy to that of the traditional market the business has been trading in, it’s difficult to really understand the differences in the early phases and there may well be a culture shock to an extent.
As much research as possible is key, and also seeking professional help or consulting can offer a great preparation tool prior to launching a new operation abroad. Seek all the help available. Customer research is also imperative; it should be asked what the typical customer profile is, and does it change from the profile of a customer in the domestic market?