Small business answers — NOW!

Selling in foreign country

Question
What is the best way to do business in a foreign country? 
Answer
First, do your homework. Learn as much as you can about: the country's history, the language, the society, the business culture, the laws, the banking system, the generally accepted business practices, even the religions.

Consider developing a relationship with a distributor in the country who is already selling related products to your target market. Work with them based on the value you can add to the relationship.

Be careful. In many countries once you establish a relationship with a local distributor, you can't easily set up on your own later. The underlying is one of fairness. Such rules prevent larger multinational companies from developing a market with a local distributor, and later moving in after the market had grown and leaving the local partner without the benefits of the growth.

In the United States, there are significant resources available especially for exporting through the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Trade Representative office. Take advantage of these resources. 
Brain Trust contributor: Author of Hurdle: The Book on Business Planning President, Palo Alto Software
© 2007, Small Business Network, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
Subject to the Terms of Use of AskJim.biz
Print this page   Bookmark this page   E-mail this page to a friend   Go back to previous page
AskJim ID: 149