If you are considering expanding your business to an international scope, then you will first want to make sure that you know about the cultural differences.  These differences can ultimately have an impact on the profitability of your business.  You should have a good understanding of the business etiquette and standards in the areas that you wish to do business.  Sometimes, it can even be as simple as the seating arrangement for a business meeting.  What you may see as a customary practice may not be acceptable in a different country.

Here are a few customs that you will want to consider before you decide to do business in other countries:

  • Language
  • Body language
  • Dress attire
  • Titles and rank
  • Management of time
  • Dining and entertainment
  • Holidays and religion
  • Gifts

If you plan to do business in another country, out of respect for that country you will want to make sure that your business operations conform to their customs.  After all, you would want other businesses to extend that same respect to you.  The best way to do this is by looking into market research beforehand.  You can take a look at the profiles of other countries and consult with an expert in your industry in that particular market.  Make sure that you use all of the resources that are available to you, including foreign embassies, banks, and libraries.  You might even want to get some help from the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.

It might also be a great idea for you to consider international travel beforehand.  You can go to the area and build relationships with potential customers.  This will help to strengthen your relations as well.  By reinforcing partnerships, you can ensure that your products and services are welcomed into the new geographical area with ease.

The foreign customs regulations are going to be different depending on the country.  You will want to make sure that you are aware of these regulations before expanding your business into new areas.  Once you are aware of these regulations, you can then adapt your services and products to ensure that they meet these standards.

Make sure that you are aware of the fact that exporting in your business is not necessary a supplement to your Canadian business.  It is a process of venturing out into unchartered territories.  You need to work on your flexibility, and you need to make sure that you pay close attention to all cultural differences.

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