Doing Business in the Global World
The world we live in is becoming smaller and smaller. This is thanks to the world becoming ever more connected than it ever has been. The Internet has allowed entrepreneurs take their businesses to foreign markets. With the advancement of technology this can be done in a very cost effective manner. Applications, both in the form of online and mobile ones, are available at the click of a button to aid a business with any given task. Simply put, doing business has become streamlined.
Bearing this in mind entrepreneurs have been deciding that it is important to include international trade as part of their strategy. In today’s volatile economic environment businesses are continuously looking to explore opportunities in international markets. Whilst looking for opportunities and planning the move all businesses come across problems. It is impossible to completely predict with absolute confidence the issues that are likely to rise when a business goes international but communication is likely going to be one.
Communicating with Foreign Nationals
Communication is vital in dictating the success of a business. Customer service has jumped on to another level over the last few years with standards being set by the likes of Zappos and Apple. The exceptional customer service provided by these companies is down to the way they communicate with their customers.
The importance of communication is even more important when companies enter new markets to ensure that customers are not let down in any way. However, it is not only customers who businesses have to deal with. More than likely most businesses will likely need to deal with suppliers and other business acquaintances so communication skills need to be at an optimum. More than likely these communication skills will be tested in the form of meetings
Tips for Multilingual Meetings
Most meetings are held between people who share knowledge of the same language but when expanding a business abroad it is important to accept the fact that meetings will need to be taken place with people who speak a different language.
Here are some tips for successful meetings when doing international trade.
- 1. Ensure the meeting is necessary. Not everyone appreciates having regular meetings so ensure that a meeting is necessary in the first place.
- 2. Body language. Keep your body language positive and ensure you do not use any body gestures which can be insulting to certain cultures. An example of this can be to avoid showing the sole of your shoes to a person of Arabic descent.
- 3. Choosing a suitable time. One of the most important aspects in meetings is often down to the time that a meeting is set. Ensure that time for a meeting is not sensitive to the participants and be wary of the time colliding with pray times, school pick up time or siesta times for countries like Spain.
- 4. Use of technology. Plan the use of technology as it is one element that can be extremely useful. The use of technology items like tablets can convey a message in a native language. To state an example of a technology that can be used is having a language translator which can aid communication. Doing so will ensure that nothing is lost in translation.
- 5. Set expectations. During the course of a meeting you can ideally set the expected outcomes of the meetings. Even if you set personal expectations you can mark the progress. May be a good idea to use a translation services agency to ensure the meeting minutes are adequate for distributing amongst the relevant parties.