In the current era of intensive globalisation, the marketplace is growing at a fast pace. This means expanding business borders and sometimes customising business practices. The subsections that follow give an overview of the FYROM’s business practice to give a comprehensive picture of business communication in FYROM.
Regardless of the situation and place, communicating without creating barriers can only be an advantage and bring benefits.
Macedonians are normally warm, polite and generally welcoming to foreigners. When talking with someone, eye contact is important. The partner might consider it as rude and a lack of respect, if you don’t keep eye contact. Macedonians are direct and would not hesitate to speak up or argue if the topic is of importance to them. They speak fast and loudly using gestures and non-verbal communication. A handshake is an appropriate greeting in professional situations.
In the FYROM, Macedonian and Albanian are the most commonly spoken languages. Minority languages include Turkish, Roma, Serbian and Vlach and are spoken less often.
Macedonian is a South Slavic language whose closest relatives are Bulgarian and Serbian. There is a major east-west dialectal division and about twenty subdivisions. Macedonian evolved in contact with non-Slavic languages such as Greek, Albanian, Aromanian, and Turkish. Today, young FYROM speakers are more likely to understand English than other national languages. Multilingualism is common in urban areas but less common in rural areas.
In the former Yugoslavia, the official language was Serbo-Croatian, a mixture of Serbian and Croatian. Today, most people speak the neighbouring languages, Bulgarian, Serbian, as well as Croatian. Languages taught in high schools and universities are mostly English, German and French. English language education is mandatory starting in elementary school and in almost every company the employees need to have a minimum of basic English.
Having the best product and business don’t guarantee high market placements. Every day practice shows that good business relationships and networks can highlight your business and improve its success in the marketplace.
For this purpose the FYROM’s businessmen are organised into various communities, which enables them to share their experience and widen and strengthen their networks.
There are generally no rules for dealing with people you are meeting for the first time. If you want to make a good impression it is important to be courteous, polite and a good listener. Good discussion topics would be work, family, climate, where are you from, leisure activities and regional culture. When meeting people for the first time, it is wise to avoid sensitive political subjects.
For people from the FYROM, it is important to establish a personal relationship with a client before doing business. This increases trust in the individual, which is seen as more important than the company for which people work.
Supervisors are addressed as Mr. or Ms. with their last name and also by their function. Colleagues are addressed by their first name.