5 Tools You Should Keep in Mind When Doing Business in Other Countries

  • Post last modified:21 February 2022
  • Reading time:9 mins read

The widely accepted rule of thumb in business is to understand how unique and specific individual businesses are.

The capital, finesse, and acumen an entrepreneur A needs to flourish in the sales of jewellery and fashion products is different from what entrepreneur B needs to flourish in the sales of car parts in the same location. This is the general truth about business which incoming entrepreneurs must know early.

However, putting the different nature of business apart, if we consider the location of businesses of the same product, it can speak volumes of the future of such business.

For example, a small business owner in Canada who deals in the sales of hotdogs and other street foods needs for the success of his business will be different from what a business owner in China that is offering consumers the same service needs.

In order to properly achieve the best working condition and profit for business after switching locations, a good translational service needs to be hired.

Basically, there are a lot of things that need to be considered when translation services for international market are hired.

As a small business owner, I have gathered five interesting tools or points you need to put in mind if you want to start a business in another country or if you intend to improve turnover for your overseas business.

Trained Personnel

‘Don’t just hire anybody!’ If you can save that last sentence as your phone screensaver it will do you so much good.

The ‘a square peg in a round hole’ narrative does not fit into the business. If you need hands in a business, hire someone who knows about the business. On some occasions as a fresh entrepreneur, it is possible that you won’t be able to afford trained hands. In that case, you should try your best to train the available ones.

For an overseas business, take this advice a bit more seriously than normal. It is because you barely know the scope of the area, labor laws, benefits, minimum wage, pension laws, and the demands of the environment.

Just hiring anyone in a new country can kill your business before it starts. Most African countries have more semi-skilled and unskilled labor therefore if you need more skilled personnel you may need to bring in help from other countries.

Therefore, take time to study how your closest competitors do their thing, then hire professional hands and a lot of legal help who can help you navigate the hurdles present in the environment.

Know the Culture of the Country

In Thailand for example, you need to inform your personnel, even though they are locals, that they are not permitted to talk anyhow about politics or the King. Tattoos and other things considered cool in the west are not permitted and can attract fines and sanctions.

Also, If you want to close a business deal in Thailand as well as Colombia, it is important you meet your clients in person and don’t be late. At the same time, these countries have specific greeting and speech etiquette that will determine if you’re rude, weak or a pushover.

In India, if your business meeting is in a restaurant eat with your right hand. Also, putting your chopsticks side by side and parallel to your eating bowl is considered bad luck in most parts of Asia.

Moreover, if you are considering the nature of the country at large and how receptive they are to new businesses, you also need to be more town or city specific.

Especially in a culturally diverse country, a socially acceptable action in town A might be considered unreasonable in town B of the same country.

For instance, In Lagos, a very busy city in the southwestern part of Nigeria, The long hours of road congestions and traffic jam is an excuse for everyone. If this is allowed everywhere, businesses will surely die. So, personnel are informed of the need to wake early to avoid lateness.

However, in Ibadan, a city in the same country, personnel of any business hardly need to wake up early to beat the traffic. Another issue of concern is the tax culture of the country you intend to do business. Don’t just hire professionals to try and understand it yourself. You will not regret it!

Come up with a Strategy

After you have done the study of the environment, then you can come up with a business plan. Don’t make the mistake of swallowing another country’s business strategy hook, line, and sinker. It may not work.

Employ the best strategy that fits your environment. Understand whether online marketing (order-pay-delivery) is suitable for your business or the traditional on-site transaction.

At the same time know when to partner, franchise, expand or take a break from the business. Have a definite term of the agreement for contract, casual, and permanent staff. Know the target market and who you intend to reach with your products.

As a business owner or partner, don’t be rigid with your strategy and values as an organization. When a country is providing a stable turnover and there are .

You need a Middleman

Unless you know your way around, please, get a middleman or a translator. There are a lot of things that could go wrong in a jiffy. You may need to relate or close a deal with an artisan or business leader who doesn’t understand your language things can go very bad in situations like that.

There is a lot of help that you can get from locals. Therefore, if you don’t intend to get a translator kindly learn the local language. The effort you put into learning the local language of the country yields many dividends in business meetings.

I have highlighted this point before during this post. At the same time, I think it deserves a heading of its own.

There are a lot of things you cannot wrap your head around when it comes to tax laws, pension laws, entitlements, labor laws, appraisals, environmental laws, gender equality in employment, rates and pricing, food standards, and a whole long list that can’t be exhausted.

Sometimes, your effort in trying to keep a part of the law can make you defective in another. Don’t ever think it is unnecessary to employ legal support for your business.

Conclusion

You may agree that no one knows your business more than you. However, your assessment of the business can be myopic or biased.

Consult a professional business consultant for your business where you need it, especially when you need translation services for international markets.

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