Written by Barry Tomalin, Cross Cultural Lead, Fortis Consulting London.
(Barry will be delivering the Business Cultural Trainer’s Certificate course, January 28 & 29. This intensive two day course will equip attendees with the knowledge and practical knowhow to design and deliver cross-cultural training inputs.)
Free trade with the world says Theresa May at Davos but don’t wait for Article 50. Get going. Here are 5 things to do.
1 FIND THE BIG PLAYERS.
India, China, South Korea, the USA, the Middle East are all big markets but do your homework first. What are the trends?
2 PRODUCT AND SERVICE FIT
Does your product or service fit the market? Giving the Chinese a taste for chocolate may take a long time. Have you got the stamina and the investment capital?
3 HOME RESOURCES
The value is variable but check all home resources, DIT (Department for International Trade in the UK), national Chambers of Commerce, COBCOE (Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe) isn’t just EU, also UKABC (UK ASEAN Business Council) help arrange meetings and encourage exports. OMIS, the DIT Overseas Markets Introduction Service will help you find partners and client for your products in specific markets for a fee.
4 USE YOUR EMBASSY
Nowadays the export promotion functions of British Embassies overseas matters. Many have local DIT departments onsite. If you are visiting the market, put the Commercial Attaché on your shopping list. Use them to give you names and addresses, advise you on opportunities and find reliable and trustworthy agents, local partners and interpreters.
5 FIND A LOCAL PARTNER
In China and other markets a local partner or agent is a huge bonus – if they are what they say they are. Always check credentials and experience. Treat them well but always check carefully. They may be your key entry point into the market in Asia and the Middle East.
5 more later. Watch this space!
At all times seek to maximise your and your organisation’s communication and engagement with international clients and partners. Without these key skills you may have the best product or service, but you will struggle to sell.
Fortis Consulting London provides a range of services to assist with international trade:
- Partnership Facilitation (Business Matching)
- Country Briefings
- Cross Cultural Communication & Multi-Cultural Working
- Living in a New Country
- UK Market Entry
- Expert Briefings
(Business Cultural Trainer’s Certificate course, January 28 & 29.)