Expansion into international markets and working with other cultures can created unforeseen headaches and avoidable problems for companies who enter foreign markets without sufficient cultural information and know how.
Many companies of all sizes have encountered communication and cultural problems in international projects. Many times these problems occur due to oversight, or the impact of a culture and customs on the business were not taken seriously.
Virtually all organizations seeking to export or participate in international markets face steep learning curves about culture, customs and manners. Mistakes are made, at times very costly mistakes.
Making the wrong decisions, miscommunications, offending decision-makers or neglecting the fine points of initial negotiations can often bring a prompt end to an overseas business opportunity or deal.
The lesson to be learned is to invest some time and money to prepare, to understand your international markets and the culture where you will be doing business.
It’s not enough to understand your brand and current customers. Never underestimate any cultural factor, and never assume that your model, project or way of life will be embraced fully and without reservations.
International business traveler – ambassador, explorer, map-maker