We are living in the times of Globalization, where businesses are not limited to borders anymore. Expanding your business abroad may look very beneficial and surely is but it is not as easy as that. to make your business acknowledged in another country or multiple countries at the same time, you need to have thorough research and open arms. There will be instances not so familiar to you where you will be required to broaden your vision and mold according to other cultures and working methods. And to avoid any hindrance in cracking an international deal, we are here to help you out. Here are the 4 common cultural differences that you may encounter while expanding your business abroad.
The first and most distinct difference we come across while moving our business abroad is that of language. In many of your opinion, English might be the international language of communication. But when it comes to setting up your business in another country, the native language there gains much importance. The documentation might be in English but to reach that point of business engagement there come several instances where knowing their meeting and greeting culture is uttermost important. While we see several differences in British and American English cultures, the variation becomes more conspicuous when moving your business to countries like China, Japan, etc. For moving to such culturally rich and adamant parts of the world knowing their language or at least commonly used phrases and greeting manners is a must. As a protip, always remember to get your company cards in the native language for swift communication.
1. Massive Competition
Taking your business abroad brings some hard pills to swallow as well. The first is, that you lose the home advantage being provided in your native country. When moving your business to any other country brings you under excessive scrutiny and administrative burdens. You can face some difficulties in getting a construction or business permit, unlike their native businesses.
Another cultural difference is getting involved in a new world of competition and the race of survival of the fittest. For instance, when opening a company in Singapore, you are choosing to compete with several other top-notch local as well as international companies there. As Singapore is a market of thousands of companies in almost every field, competing with their local and then internationally recognized companies can be a cultural shock.
2. Payments And Transactions
Getting paid and making payments to your employees abroad can be a task for newcomers. Payment methods and preferences are entirely different in different parts of the world. While living in the age of digital transactions there are still some countries having a cultural preference for cash payments. For instance, moving your business to France might make you come across cash payments only.
As far as digital payments are concerned there still exist a few cultural preferences. While European countries are moving towards digital wallets and cryptocurrency, Asian countries have a culture of making payments through QR codes. While in China, a huge market of 1.5 Billion population, AliPay and WeChatPay are the two leading transaction apps. And not being familiar with these can cause difficulty in making transactions in China, in particular.
Nations react differently to a set time. Among other differences, punctuality is also one of the major cultural differences you might face when taking your business abroad. And not following the time culture of the other country can affect your business deals negatively. While in African or Middle Eastern countries, where it is not a big deal to be a few minutes late to the designated meeting time. It is the opposite in the Nordic states, where keeping the client waiting for even a few minutes is considered irresponsible behavior. And this can affect your business performance greatly.
Taking your business abroad is a great way of accelerating its growth exponentially. But to meet your expectations and help your business grow you need to adapt to the new culture of the countries you want to explore. Make good research about the language, transaction method, time culture, and the level of competition you are going to face. Knowing these cultural differences will help you adapt to the new business culture in very less time.