If you’re interested in doing business on a world scale it’s vital that you educate yourself as well as you can about the different business cultures that you’re going to encounter in any country that you hope to do business with. The fact is, even though you hear people talking about how “small” the world has become, the differences in business etiquette from one country to another can still be very large and the problems you encounter very acute.
One website that is helping people around the world to overcome these cultural business barriers is World Business Culture. The World Business Culture (WBC) website has in-depth information on the business cultures of 39 of the world’s largest countries, economically speaking, as well as a wealth of references, books and other material that will help someone interested in selling their goods or services in another country.
On the WBC website you’ll find a profile for all 39 of these countries as well as a wide range of topics that are relevant to the way they do business and, maybe more importantly, the way they don’t do business. This isn’t just random material that was slapped together but keenly insightful and informative information that was put together by experts with many years of practical experience in a myriad of international affairs.
For example, if a person was interested in doing business in China the WBC website would inform them that, although China has experienced 10 years of phenomenal growth, they are also deeply rooted in tradition, especially when it comes to the way they do business. Even as they open their doors to the West and adopt some of their policies and procedures to appear more “Western like”, trying to deal with them from an outsider’s point of view can be especially difficult.
India is similar in some ways and, while they are certainly opening up their country to foreign investments, some areas of the country, at least business-wise, still have very strong barriers for entry that probably won’t be coming down anytime soon. Besides that, India’s government and banking systems are extremely complex and hard to understand even by people within those industries. Like China there are many cultural obstacles that must be overcome, including a business etiquette that has been framed over millennia and what can only be described as a very complex system of business communication.
Lest you think that doing business with the United States is easy, or at least easier than China or India, the fact is that breaking into the US market is quite challenging and being accepted the same. Where in China and India a person’s personal life is valued and not to be intruded upon, in the United States you can be sure that they will expect you to be on call 24/7. Also, speaking English, while helpful, doesn’t exactly give you any type of “extra credit” in the States.
All of which makes the World Business Culture website all the more relevant and valuable for anyone who’s keen on breaking into a country outside of their own. If that happens to be you, it would definitely be recommend that you bookmark the WBC website because, in all likelihood, you’re going to be referring back to it on a regular and ongoing basis.