Sometimes business can take you out of your home country. New opportunities can often be found overseas, and the ambitious entrepreneur shouldn’t be afraid of growing beyond their own borders. However, conducting business with people from other cultures means being aware of how they do things differently.
While effective communication is one component to succeeding internationally, remaining adaptable to local protocol and etiquette is also essential. Seemingly small things, like how you accept a business card or what you order for lunch, can make or break a foreign business relationship.
Some international customs are more unusual than others. Here are 10 unique international business customs.
It is common for South Koreans to expect their guests to engage in Noraebang, or karaoke. If you join your Korean colleagues for dinner, you might find yourself at a karaoke establishment, and you will be expected to sing.
Don’t worry if you’re not a great singer, though. These karaoke establishments generally have private rooms, and it will just be your group that you have to perform in front of. Koreans will also often skip songs after the first verse and chorus to get through more karaoke during their allotted time.
If you don’t speak French, that’s OK, but you are expected to apologize for your lack of fluency before engaging in further conversation. If you don’t have time to learn French before doing business there, learning a few phrases or greetings can serve as a show of good faith.
Also, be prepared for lengthy meals in France. Lunch can last up to two hours long.
Germans often respect direct communication and err on the side of being blunt in business dealings. The more straightforward, the better when in Germany. It’s also wise to remain serious and devoid of humor, as jokes are not appreciated in a business context.
Don’t expect to get down to brass tacks with Italians. In Italy, business is often personal and relationship driven, so expect to spend a significant amount of time getting to know your Italian business partners and developing a relationship with them. If you relax and put business on the backburner instead of focusing your efforts on forming a foundation based on trust and friendly communication, you’ll find more success in Italy than a hard-driving, all-business, all-the-time approach.
Set your alarm early when doing business in Australia. Punctuality is absolutely key when meeting to discuss business. If you’re not going to be precisely on time, then you should arrive a bit early. Otherwise, you could be perceived as rude or unorganized by your hosts.
Don’t lose a deal because you were five minutes late. While that might be acceptable in the U.S., it will certainly be noticed when you’re down under.
Read more: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5176-unusual-international-business-customs.html