International marketing first steps

We want to offer our services to countries outside the UK, what do we have to think about?

There are reams we could write about on this subject, but I would start with how the environmental issues [political, economic, social, cultural and technological] have an impact on your specific product offer. For example, some years ago we were conducting research for a company wishing to sell an anti vandal product to Hong Kong. Major challenge was that at the time the concept of vandalism was unknown to people living in Hong Kong!

Political

  • Laws
  • Trade regulations between countries

Economic

  • Tax issues
  • Exchange rates

Social
Cultural issues can affect how business is conducted in another country. These include:

  • Business etiquette
  • Literacy skills
  • Gifts
  • Symbolic colours that may cause offence
  • Corporate slogans
  • Business etiquette
  • Languages
  • Unlucky numbers!

Technological

  • How people access information and products
  • Communication with other countries
  • Transport infrastructure

Websites for further information include:

Department of Trade and Industry website

EU Services Directive in a nutshell & FAQs

World Trade Organisation

Foreign and Commonwealth Office – Lots of useful information and country profiles

Every Culture website – cultural information

Business Culture Guides – Executive Planet

Don’t forget to contact your local Chambers of Commerce and other business associations who may have resources and other information to help.

http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
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