Succeeding in business can be a challenge when you are based in the United States. When you are based in a foreign country, doing your job can be downright impossible. Learning the business and social customs of another country are just one of the challenges that you need to overcome if you want to be successful in international business endeavors.
1) Learn The Language To Make Communicating Easier
You won’t be able to communicate with others if you don’t know the language. While you don’t need to speak fluent Chinese to survive in China, you need to be able to hold basic conversations with employees, customers and suppliers. Fortunately, many business people in foreign countries are relatively good at speaking English. You can also take classes or get a Norwich University online master’s degree in diplomacy, which will greatly improve your understanding and communication with people from other countries.
2) Don’t Be Afraid To Modify The Product
Local tastes should be taken into consideration whenever you market a product. For example, many foreigners don’t understand why Americans put milk in their cereal or why we like our drinks to be kept cold. Therefore, you have to learn what the consumers in a given country do want to buy and market accordingly.
3) Familiarize Yourself With All Applicable Labor And Business Laws
You don’t want to hire workers who may not be eligible to work in the country where you have based your operations. It is also imperative to know which days that workers traditionally take off for holidays and religious celebrations.
Another issue that you have to worry about are the differing tax laws that you will encounter in a foreign country. Make sure that you are properly withholding taxes as well as paying what you owe in a timely manner.
4) Develop A Brand That Is Unique To The Country
If you are bringing a product that is already established in America, you want to do your best to create a distinct brand in each country that you operate in. A good example of this is ESPN creating ESPN Deportes for Spanish language viewers.
Instead of focusing on hockey games, they get soccer, boxing and other sports that they would be interested in. Additionally, they get announcers who are fluent in the language who can connect with the viewers in a unique way.
5) Partner With Other Local Businesses
The best way to network in any country is to partner with other businesses in your immediate area. Committing your company to community outreach programs can be another good way to ingratiate yourself into the community where your business is located.
By helping a local school, you have made an important connection in the community. When your company helps provide funds for a new hospital, it creates the sense that you care about more than just the wallet of those you serve.
Creating a successful business overseas means that you cater your product to the customers who will be buying it. The marketing and branding efforts should reflect what people in other countries need to hear as opposed to appealing to what would be popular in North America.