Business Lessons You Can Learn From Outside the U.S. Borders
What's in a business plan? And where do those same plans come from? It's a set of questions that, when asked of 100 people, might garner 100 different answers. From a more straightforward standpoint, however, the answers are a little more stagnant – business plans are put together through programs and experience. Some of the very factors that have help them come to be, however, are implemented after years of experience and business savvy. While others are there simply because they're mandated by law. That is, within its country's borders. When dealing with international business, laws soon change, incorporating a different set of guidelines, as well as outside countries' legal requirements.
Though these changes are certainly something to be aware of (especially when conducting international business), they can also be used as a source of education. Understanding how outside countries do business can allow you to grow your own ventures in the United States (or outside of it), by looking at marketing tactics, management techniques, and more. Then, taking those same variables and use them to better your business.
One of the biggest differences between international companies and those within the U.S. is the amount of working hours employees and business owners put in; we often see that U.S. citizens work longer days/weeks. This can often mean higher profit margins and faster franchise growth, but it also means there is little time for a break. No matter how badly it's needed. And when considering how much down time some foreign business actually have, the numbers might not add up. Is working X number of hours worth X number of extra dollars? If it is, great. If not, consider how much you might be gaining by stopping to take a break … or by taking many of them throughout the week.
Sometimes, rest and relaxation is worth far more in terms of quality of work that's able to be had when properly rejuvenated.
Another difference within international businesses is that of respect. Take an overview of how employees are treated in other countries, and how workers treat the boss. This is something that will vary on both sides of the spectrum, depending on location. The take away, however, is each country's results. What changes as you look at how each person is treated? Do those changes account for good or bad business tactics? Evaluate each interaction, and consider taking on those that can work in your favor.
Other lessons from foreign business can be based on hours of operation, company rules and regulations, how customer service is handled, worker training, and day-to-day logistics. Or something that might be specific to your particular niche. Look at what countries are doing, then look at what they're not doing. Where are their greatest areas of success? And what factors might be contributing to that success? What, in your opinion, is causing their shortcomings? Log your personal thoughts, then look at business journals or the musings of local writers.
Like with any form of business advice, it's best to take each piece of information in stride, realizing that aspects are meant to be personalized. But by approaching your lesson from a more widespread point of view, you will be able to pull from the biggest pool of facts. Have the most comprehensive overview of what's taking place, and most importantly, the best idea of how to work in your favor.
International business holds an incredible amount of professional lessons; finding a way to harness those facts and use them can be huge for your business. Don't overlook this ready source, no matter how off-topic it may sound, and instead, look toward a way to work it into your own professional operations.