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Doing Business Internationally

“Venturing out of your comfort zone to trade internationally may make your business stronger, more successful, and more profitable”. Bruna Martinuzzi

International business involves producing and/ or selling goods and services cross-border, between countries. International business can be carried out in several ways:

  • Produce goods and services domestically and sell internationally
  • Produce goods and services in a different country and sell domestically.
  • Produce goods and services in a different country and sell internationally.

However, due to language barriers; cultural differences; government policies and laws; and differences in currencies, time zones, and inflation rates doing business internationally can be an arduous task.

What tips can one apply when doing business internationally?

eFax and Maryville University have come up with the following tips to help you navigate the international business space:

  1. Select Markets Wisely
    Market research is important to gain insights on consumption habits, and spending habits as well as gaining an understanding of the kind companies new foreign markets want to patronize and those they don’t.
  2. Knowledge on Restrictions and Regulations
    Before venturing into a new foreign market, you must be aware of the legal obligations and business regulations in force. Successful world trade requires compliance with international laws.
  3. Knowledge of the Business Culture
    Each country has their own way of doing things. The secret for success in foreign markets lies in educating yourself and adapting to the cultural norms of the international market you are entering.
  4. Product Branding
    The current branding of your product may have a negative or offensive meaning in different cultures. On the other hand, there may already be a product or brand existing in that country with a similar name.
  5. Engage Local Market Experts
    You may need some expert support to guide you and set you on the right path. Market experts will help you understand the culture and risk factors in the new market.
  6. Be Adaptive
    There is no one-model-fits-all way to run your interactions with foreign counterparts. Meetings will run very differently based on local norms and customs, therefore being adaptive is very important.
  7. Find Common Ground
    When it comes to managing employees in an international company finding a middle ground is important to fostering teamwork. Leaders have to ask about each individual’s expectations and set out priorities clearly.
  8. Communication Etiquette
    Learning the conversation styles of the foreign markets you interact with is important. This includes aspects such as who should speak in conversations and for how long, as well as whether meetings should be structured or free-flowing.
  9. Overcome Personal Barriers
    Feelings of inadequacy when playing in a field very different from the environments where an executive has thrived in the past, as well as the stress that comes with trying something new may crop up and need to be overcome.