Cultural differences in business – are you aware of them?
A key to being successful in business internationally is to understand the role of culture in international business. Whatever sector you are operating in, cultural differences will have a direct impact on your profitability. Improving your level of knowledge of international cultural difference in business can aid in building international competencies as well as enabling you to gain a competitive advantage.
However, on the one hand where it is important to be aware of cultural differences of different countries, on the other, it is also hard to be aware of every single aspect of each country’s organisational culture. Therefore, you should be aware of the key factors that have a direct impact on business. These are:
- Communication is the key to success for any business, whether you are operating nationally or internationally, but when operating internationally it becomes even more important due to language barriers. Passport to Trade 2.0 project aims to remove this barrier by providing training materials in the languages of the country you are operating.
- Being aware of basic customer needs is an important aspect as this will give the advantage of conveying your message. In simple terms, if you are aware of the customer’s cultural background, then you will be able to adopt better and more suitable advertising methods.
- Body language is another key factor in cultural difference. As different countries have different ways to convey or share their message, for instance in Germany people tend to speak loudly when sharing ideas, whereas in Japan people speak softly, it very important to know what your body language should be doing when interacting with people whether it’s your business partner or an interviewer.
- Before launching a marketing campaign, always conduct research to become aware of your target audience since customer demand, decision making, gender views and ideologies greatly vary in cultures.
There are also regional differences in business – see