When traveling to a foreign country, you are guaranteed to experience different customs and cultures. Visiting other countries as a tourist and adjusting to the different customs and language is challenging enough, but if you hope to conduct business in a foreign country, it is important to do your research.
The first thing people think about when they start planning to do business overseas is the language barrier. It is next to impossible to get a business venture started in a foreign country if the different parties cannot understand each other. Making sure that everyone can understand each other is key for your business’ success. The safest solution to the language barrier issue is enlisting the services of a professional translation company. When dealing with sensitive issues like contracts and business negotiations, it is not a wise decision to trust some random person who claims to be fluent in some language.
Though language is a major factor, it is not the only issue when dealing with foreign partners or clients. Granted some countries share similar customs with the United States, but others have tremendously different beliefs and traditions that Americans could not even imagine. Even if you do extensive research on the country in which you are visiting, you still run the chance of offending someone with the slightest action. Especially in Asian countries, it is vital that you watch your actions at all times to limit the chances of offending anyone. In some countries, like Japan, people rely more on non-verbal communication and body language than on the spoken word. They pay close attention to the way you say certain things and how you react to others.
To help generate goodwill, it is wise to learn as many habits and rituals as you can about the country in which you hope to conduct business. In Japan, everything from how you talk to people to blowing you r nose is different than in America. It is considered rude to look someone in the eye while talking to them, especially if they are of higher rank than you, and blowing your nose in a public area is unthinkable to them. Such small things that you may have never thought of could jeopardize your business in a foreign country, so you must prepare ahead of time.
Culture shock from such different customs is bound to occur. If you research the country ahead of time, however, and recruit the help of professional language translation services, your chances of your business venture succeeding will be greatly increased.