In today’s business environment, you might find that your company needs to expand into new markets located in other countries. As your company’s reach grows, you could find that your profits grow, too. To compete with other companies in your industry, though, you will need to know how to effectively grow your business internationally. Follow these tips to learn effective ways to enter international markets and succeed in them.
Learn About Foreign Cultures
In the United States, people often like to get down to business. You can walk into a meeting, give your presentation, and expect feedback almost instantly. Business doesn’t work that way in many countries.
Asian and Latin American countries, for instance, place a heavier emphasis on relationships. If you don’t understand the culture, then you will stand out as someone the people there do not trust. Before you travel to a foreign country, learn about the ways people there interact with each other. Perhaps you should bow instead of shaking hands, or maybe you should use their surnames instead of their common names. The more aware you become of the cultural mores, the more successful your business will become.
Go Mobile with Smart Phone Apps
Traveling to foreign countries means you can’t rely on your office’s equipment. Say “so long” to your fax machine, copier and computer network. Luckily, smart phones make it possible for you to stay connected even when you are not in your office. For instance, the new MetroFax mobile app that just released lets you read faxes directly on your smart phone. You don’t even need to print anything. The MetroFax mobile app lets you browse the last 200 faxes that you have received. That makes it even easier than using your office’s fax machine.
Expect a Slower Pace
Compared to the rest of the world, Americans move at lightning speed. You can’t expect your new business partners to conform to your speed when you visit their countries. Get used to a slower pace of life and expect the unexpected. Consider the way other people conduct business might seem strangely slow to you, but your methods might seem odd to them too. Imagine how you would feel if someone wanted to close a deal before you felt you had enough time to go over the details and weigh your options. That pressure would probably cause you to back out of the deal. That’s what could happen to you when you don’t conform to the pace of life in foreign countries.
Each country has its own culture that will influence the way you do business. In fact, you will probably find that smaller areas within these countries have their own cultural differences. Remember that you are a visitor in these countries and that you will benefit from learning more about their cultures. Keep an open mind, pay attention to your surroundings and stay connected to your office through mobile applications, and you should find that you can effectively grow your business internationally. That way, you can establish yourself in emerging markets before your competitors have a chance.
Ann Arbor-based Borders Group Inc. plans to liquidate, marking the culmination of a years-long decline for the nation’s second largest bookstore chain, which had fallen into disrepair four decades after it opened its first store in downtown Ann Arbor.
The liquidation, which Borders announced shortly after 4:10 p.m., means that the 10,700 people who still work for Borders — including about 400 at its Ann Arbor headquarters — will lose their jobs.
The chain’s 399 remaining stores will be closed quickly, with liquidation sales starting as soon as Friday.
Although Borders is a shadow of its former self — it once employed some 1,800 workers at its corporate headquarters — it’s still a profoundly disheartening development for the local workforce. And it’s the biggest gut punch for the local economy since Pfizer announced its departure from Ann Arbor four years ago.
It’s ironic to see this happen, given what happened to independent booksellers over the years due to the success of the big box book retailers like Borders.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting for new technology at a nuclear testing laboratory in the town of Dubna, some 120 km (75 miles) north of Moscow, July 5, 2011. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukin (RUSSIA – Tags: POLITICS)
When he was 17 years old, Alexei Terentev, then a bookish high school student in Moscow, created what the Russian government has been desperately trying to engineer — a start-up with some of that Silicon Valley–style magic. It was innovative, cleverly marketed and could be run out of his parents’ apartment. By June of last year, when Terentev got his diploma from one of Moscow’s elite universities, his company was on its way to making him a millionaire. But it was also getting big enough, he says, “to get the wrong kind of attention from officials.” So Terentev, now 22, took no chances. One day after graduation, he packed up his laptop and emigrated to the Czech Republic, taking his company with him. He doubts he will ever return.
The reasons for his move, as well as his haste, are the typical worries of the young entrepreneurs Russia is currently hemorrhaging: corruption and bureaucracy, the forces that are driving the biggest exodus since the fall of the Soviet Union. In the past three years, 1.25 million Russians have emigrated, most of them young businesspeople and members of the middle class, according to data released in February by the head of the state’s Audit Chamber. That is about a quarter million more than left the country during the first few years after the Soviet collapse, when Russia was a political and economic basket case. Now the country is stable and the cities are thriving. But small-business owners seem to feel less safe than ever.
Russians are paying the price for the thuggish atmosphere create by Vladimir Putin and his cronies. This is one reason why fears about the decline of America are overblown.
College is expensive. Research shows that a typical year at a four-year institution will cost between $20,000 and $40,000. College has grown to be such an expensive proposition that to many it’s a luxury. Growing bureaucracy, increasing technology, and the cost of living have increased the price of a college education. If you’re lucky, you can qualify for a grant or scholarship. If you are not, you have to find creative ways, like Plain Green Loans, to help keep the cost of college down to a reasonable level.
More Than a House
When you think about it, your college education is actually more expensive than your home. Even if you select a state institution, where tuition rates are typically lower, you can expect to pay over $100,00 for your education. Add in living expenses, incidentals, and loss of employment, and suddenly your education is costing you even more. Whether you’re a struggling college student or earning your degree while you’re working, paying for your education will be difficult, so be sure to have emergency funds available, like those from Plain Green Loans.
The price of education has been on the rise for decades. Like anything, as the popularity and accessibility of college grew, so did the expenses attached to it. More administrators, teachers, and classrooms to house a rising number of students were needed. Technology budgets increased as education itself hit the digital age. Finally, the cost of living has impacted the cost of a college education. Many students find themselves relying on grants, loans, part-time jobs, and other various resources in order to pay for their education.
No matter how well-prepared you are financially, over the course of four or more years you will likely find yourself in a bind. Whether you have bills due or simply need some cash until payday, sometimes you just need money. Instead of not paying your bills or pulling your belt even tighter, consider taking a loan from a company like Plain Green Loans. It can help tide you over until pay day and save you from further financial debt.
A college education is expensive, but it is an investment in your future and one that is well worth it. Prepare yourself financially as much as possible, but don’t be afraid to take out loans when you are in need of a bit of help.