- Posted by Guest Post
- On May 21, 2015
- 0 Comments
I recently got back from an amazing 17 day trip to China and Japan. I called China home from 2009-2012, but this was my first trip to Japan. Travel has always been important to me particularly because of the cultural and life lessons I learn on the journey.
When taking your business abroad there are a number of items that you need to take into consideration. More than likely you will be dealing with language and cultural barriers. Prior to making the commitment, do your research and make sure that your team is equipped with the knowledge it will take to ensure a successful business plan. In Canada, there are a number of resources available to assist you with taking your business abroad. Use these programs to your advantage.
Here are some things to consider when taking your business abroad.
1. Cultural Customs
Business etiquette changes from country to country, which is why you should do research when taking your business abroad. Make sure that you understand important cultural customs so that you don’t offend anyone. In China, most business meetings are conducted over a large meal. Don’t be afraid if your chopstick skills aren’t up to par – it isn’t expected of you. However, you should be open to trying new things! Chances are you will be persuaded into trying new food and it may not always look appetizing, but it will please your hosts if you at least try the items that are served to you.
Whether you are conducting business remotely or traveling to another country always remember that most cultural aspects will be different and it is important to adapt. Always be open-minded to the differences that exist.
When taking your business abroad one of the biggest challenges you can face is the language barrier. Ideally, it is beneficial to have someone on your team who speaks the language of the country you are targeting. However, you can also outsource translation help.
3. Social Media
China is a country that limits access to different social media channels. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all blocked in China and can only be accessed by using a VPN. Prior to creating a social media plan, it’s important to do your due diligence to understand which social media channels are popular or even accessible in the country that you are targeting.
In China there is a social media channel called Weibo, which is a fusion of Twitter and Facebook. This particular social media platform is extremely popular in China. Do you research to learn more about popular social media channels that are used in the country you are targeting in order to reach your target audience.
4. Available Resources
There are a number of programs available to support Ontario entrepreneurs sell internationally. Use these resources to their full advantage to help lift some of the headaches. These programs can help you financially or help introduce you to potential customers and business partners.
5. Leveraging the Expat Community
Reach out to others who have also expanded their business to other countries. You can learn a lot from the successes and failures of other businesses. This will help you to better understand what works and what doesn’t work in that particular country.