My name is Sebastian Popescu and I am the manager of S.C. East Soft Consulting – an Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME), specialising in computer software. I was invited to attend a meeting held at the University of VALAHIA from Targoviste, Romania, were I found out about the Passport to Trade 2.0 (#P2T2) project and the website resource planned to be developed.
As an SME company I am very interested in opportunities to grow our business in other countries and therefore information about business culture in Europe was very welcome. Every day I realise that the online environment is increasingly offering us new ways of advertising and staying in touch with our customers.
In late September 2013 I had to travel to Germany for business. Knowing that on the P2T2 website (businessculture.org) I can read a lot about business customs in various countries from Europe, I took the opportunity to find out more about Germany and their attitudes toward business communications and foreigners.
During my Germany visit I understood how important it is to know the customs of a country and of people you intend to contact. I refer here to the first business meeting and the first business conversation. From the P2T2 website I found out about German rigidity that is well described and in this way I knew how to approach the business meeting. It is very interesting how they respect what they discussed and how they kept their word. Taking this into consideration I prepared my presentation and business proposal to be in very short and clear statements. After the business meeting, that I consider to be a successful for starting up of a new cooperation I feel that for my preparation for the business meetings the BusinessCulture.org website was “my lucky key” to success!
This site really helps you to adopt to the model of the people and business cultures you meet in 31 European countries. On the website I liked to find information about the attitude to foreigners and some of the taboos in each country.
Small things such as how to greet, habits of people when they are at a dinner meeting, conversation topics to be used for ice breaker discussions could make you an agreeable business partner or could be considered offensive and therefore jeopardize any potential future business collaboration.
I am planning to study the content of the website in more detail and pay particular attention this time to the social media tools and strategies available. I am confident that I will gain a lot of useful information for my business development. I am also thinking to ask one or two students from the Faculty of Economic Studies University of VALAHIA to have placement assignments in my company where they will help us to get better in the use of social media and some other tips on how we can improve our business for international trade.
If you are an SME manager or employee and you have some spare time use it to explore www.businessculture.org, I am sure you will have no regrets, certainly you will gain useful knowledge!