Expanding Your Business to Another Country? Learn About 4 International Business Customs
If you are like most female entrepreneurs, expanding your business into new territories and countries is something you have always dreamed of. Due to the technology at the hands of global citizens, expanding into new countries is now easier than ever. Going on international business trips is a great way to figure out whether or not there is a market for your products and services in other countries. Filling out an ESTA form and traveling abroad may be a bit time-consuming, but it is well worth the effort considering the increase to your bottom line expansion can offer. If you are unfamiliar with the practice of doing business abroad, there are a number of things you will need to learn. Read below to find out more about common international business customs.
Getting Close is a Sign of Respect
In the United States, people are very mindful of each other’s personal space. If a person gets too close to you during conversation, it may freak you out a bit. While this is acceptable in America, many other countries view getting close during a conversation as a sign of respect. Countries, like Brazil, make common practice of speaking in close proximity as a sign of trust. This means that when you are meeting with business owners in other countries, you will need to prepare yourself for getting a bit closer than you are used to. If you act freaked out or offended by this practice, it may lead to you losing some business abroad.
Learn How to Use Business Cards Properly
Another important thing you need to consider when trying to do business abroad is that there is a right way and a wrong way to give out your business cards. Chinese business men will want you to give them your business card with both hands. They will then receive the card with both of their hands as a sign of respect. If you are doing business in Japan, you will need to bow to a person once you have handed them your business card. Generally, a business card is treated like a gift in most countries, which is why they are so reverent and respectful when receiving them. Before traveling to a new country, you will need to get business cards printed in their native language. This can help to minimize confusion and will allow you to get your message across.
Taking a Softer Approach
The American way of doing business is usually straightforward and a bit harsh. If you are doing business internationally, you will need to learn how to soften your approach a bit. When people in other countries feel like they have lost face in a conversation, they will usually become very offended and may get angry as a result. If there is a snag in the dealings you have with an international business person, then you need to use tact to solve it. Being calm and collected about these problems will serve you well and allow you to keep a good working relationship with your foreign business partners.
Always Be On Time
In countries, like Russia and Finland, punctuality is very important. Even if you are a few minutes late, your foreign business partners may take this as a sign of disrespect. Instead of creating problems due to a lack of hustle, you will need to do all you can to be on time for each and every meeting you have while abroad. Setting alarms on your phone and getting a wake-up call from the hotel you are staying in is a great way to ensure you are up and ready for the day.
The time and effort that you spend learning the customs of the country you traveling to for business will be well worth it. Having success abroad hinges on the respect that you show to these countries.