Here is the second article in this series written by Barry Tomalin, Cross Cultural Lead, Fortis Consulting London. He is also a Lecturer at the Academy of Diplomacy & International Governance, Loughborough University London and a Visiting Lecturer at the London School of Economics.
(Barry will be delivering the Business Cultural Trainer’s Certificate course, May 6 & 7. This intensive two day course will equip attendees with the knowledge and practical knowhow to design and deliver cross-cultural training inputs.)
6 PROTECT IP
Whatever your IP, trademark or special ingredient, make sure it can’t be hacked or duplicated. If it can, a cheaper duplicate product under another name may be on the local market within weeks, eroding your sales. Your good name is not necessarily a guarantee of security.
7 MANUFACTURE OVERSEAS?
Outsourcing manufacture and services to cheap labour sources is still a popular way of selling products and services at lower prices back home, cutting costs and raising profits. However, the backlash from home market workers is growing and in the US manufacturers are being offered incentives to produce at home and imposing penalties on manufacture abroad. Also issues of quality assurance and timely delivery can lead to penalties. Manufacturing abroad can be profitable but check possible dangers.
8 THE TRADE FAIR TRAP
We go to trade fairs to buy, to sell or to get a job but trade fairs are mainly for contacts not contracts. Use them to meet prospects and greet partners but most deals will be done AFTER trade fair, not DURING.
9 INVEST IN TALENT
Unfamiliarity with working procedures is a big problem – on both sides in JVs and M&As. Send managers on location for short periods to see what happens locally and advise local managers. Bring local managers to HQ on secondment so they can see how you do it and take the lessons back home to colleagues.
10 SEEK OUT THE FUTURE STARS
Who is going to be big in five years? Look at The Economist Intelligence Unit’s CIVETS (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa.) Time to go beyond the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China?
Don’t go in blind. Get Trained: Fortis Consulting London
See: also Post Brexit Markets 5 things to do
Fortis Consulting London provides a range of services to assist with international trade: