International business opens you up to essentially another world. There are lines that need to be avoided, and there are many laws governing what is and isn’t available. It can be a challenging yet rewarding landscape doing international business, from cultural sensitivity to keeping your cool under immense pressure.
When it comes to doing international business across borders, you really need to get it right to avoid delays and costs. Crossing the “Ts” and dotting the “Is” is essential. But for most cross-border businesses, you will also need official documentation. A notary public is usually the best office for this, as they can seal the deal, as it were. They can witness signatures and verify you have all the necessary paperwork in place, ending with an official stamp for officials in the other country.
If you have ever done business with people from other countries, you will know that they often don’t do things the same way as you. Of course, they may or may not make accommodations for you, but it is polite for you to make accommodations for them. For example, it is well known in business circles that Chinese professionals appreciate timeliness and will be offended if you keep them waiting. Offending someone will pretty much destroy a deal you have worked hard for.
Learning a new language is a massive benefit to have in most professions. In business, it can be invaluable. Speaking the language of your foreign business partners will be greatly appreciated, and it can make a strong impression. One survey found that 70% of commercial employees also greatly value staff who can speak a second language. Knowing what the other party is saying can also help avoid an embarrassing situation or a misunderstanding that can tank a deal.
It can place immense pressure on you when working with foreigners in business, whether it’s customers, clients, or business partners. Language barriers are usually the biggest obstacle, as things can get lost in translation even at the best of times. Then there are time zone differences, which may require you to dialog with people at strange times. Learning to adapt to a situation and staying calm under the pressure is expected and valued and can mean a deal going forward.
Alongside staying calm, interpersonal skills in business, domestic or foreign, are essential. Everyone goes into a business agreement expecting different things, and almost all professionals work differently. Therefore, it is highly advantageous to work on understanding different types of people and being able to work alongside them. Try to see things from their point of view, empathize with decisions, and work on keeping your emotions out of a business deal.
Official documents witnessed by a notary public can help when doing international business. And learning a new language shows a huge appreciation for foreign partners. Staying calm and keeping your emotional intelligence when working on a deal also plays a critical role. Together, all these are key advantages for success when doing international business.