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Eureka: Understanding global business
by Jay Gutman
2016-12-10 12:05:51
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global01_400_01When seeing people do business around the world, I’ve seen quite a few businesses fail and very few businesses thrive. Some of the businesses can be quite self-absorbed, so here are a few tips when doing business around the world, hopefully leading to success.

Watch the weather

There are different climates around the world and in some parts the weather is more whimsical than in other parts of the world. When selling clothing for example, you need to know that in parts of the world where the weather is consistent people tend to opt for one collection of clothes that they keep long-term. In parts of the world where the weather changes every month, people tend to go shopping for clothes a lot more often. This means that in parts of the world where the weather is consistent you can jack up the prices quite a bit, but in parts of the world where the weather changes frequently and where people have several different collections you want to keep clothing prices down. The same could be said about food, where you’ll have to come up with new menus all the time in parts of the world where the weather changes frequently, whereas you can stick to one menu in parts of the world where the weather is consistent.

Watch the social trends

Are younger people unemployed or do they work? Are credit cards common or are they rare? Do housewives have jobs or do they stay at home? Does the grandmother do the grocery shopping or is it the mother? Are men allowed to shop or is it frowned upon? All these factors will give you a better idea of how to do business within any country. In some countries people prefer buying few items at a time while in others they would rather stock up for a week if not weeks. In countries where scams are common long-term arrangements are best avoided, as well as in countries where law enforcement is not really enforced.

What’s the legal framework?

Before doing business in any country, you want to talk to that country’s best lawyers. How do local laws protect you? How can you sue if you’re being scammed? What are the common types of scams or pitfalls? How contracts are legally enforced? What are the common types of businesses, business ownerships and what are local business restrictions and responsibilities? If you’re not getting clear answers on these points, you want to lead your business with a careful approach, selling one item at a time.

What is the financial framework?

How does the banking system work? Are there systems like the Escrow system which are safe payment modes? What are the laws to transfer money outside the country? What’s the fastest way to transfer money? How can financial transactions get cancelled? You want clear answers to these questions, otherwise you could end up with money missing in your bank account.

Where do businessmen meet?

In some countries laws are not clear and the banking sector is dismal, but there are a few pubs or associations you can walk into and the members will tell you everything you need to know about doing business. Make sure you get more than a few rounds of chats before getting started with business, and make sure you don’t think talking and chatting is a waste of time.

What are the competition laws?

In some countries exclusive contracts are the norm, in others no one is allowed to hold exclusive rights to much of anything. How easily can someone start competing with your products? Are there “psychopaths” who’ll start selling your products the minute you put them on the market (this practice is common in some countries). Make sure what the rules and trends for competition are.

What is the “praising culture”?

Depending on what country or culture you go to, some children are taught to praise easily, while in other countries children are encouraged to criticize everything they see. In some countries, put a product on the market and they’ll love it, while in others they’ll immediately start criticizing it. Make sure you find out what the trends are for praise and criticism.

Finally, how loyal are the customers?

No serious study can really tell you anything about customer loyalty. One way I tend to look at it is to meet my business partner several times, hope he’s a smoker, and check how frequently he or she changes their cigarette brand. If they never change their cigarette brand, they’ll probably stick to the same product. If they show up every morning with a different cigarette brand, they’ll probably change their minds about business partners as well. There are other ways to identify consumer loyalty, such as looking at how frequently people change their shoes (that’s usually a sign) and how consistently they tend to greet you. If they shower you with compliments the first couple of days then grunt the rest of the time, they are probably not loyal. If they say “hey what’s up” consistently each time they meet you they are probably consistent.

Doing business abroad is not just about putting your product on the market and it will start selling itself. It’s a complex process that you’re better off learning by observing people do business rather than reading examples from business school textbooks. Wish you best of luck for your business ventures abroad.

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Emanuel Paparella2016-12-10 14:51:46
I’have found it!

It would appear that the positivistic approach to the observation of the phenomenon out there, outside of the human mind (now called brain), is this: one takes what is being observed, whatever it is, and breaks it down in its constituent parts; one then analyses those parts in all their particularities; one puts together those parts again (not too dissimilar to a mechanic taking an automobile apart and then putting it back together again), thus deluding oneself that one has understood the very essence of the phenomenon just observed and can now dictate advise on how to fix what does not seem to function any longer within a utilitarian pragmatic cultural milieu. Man begins to think of his body as a mere machine and that his body is what make him human, full stop.

What is often lost sight of in this "scientific" "enlightened" methodology is the original Aristotelian insight that the essence of what is being observed may be transcendent to the sum of all its constituent parts; that the forest transcends the individual trees and to reduce a whole to its parts is to fail to understand it. Man is more than the sum of all its constituents atoms. This is a major unfortunate flaw of modern positivism which could easily be avoided by the study of the branches of philosophy dubbed metaphysics and phenomenology but which positivism (based on modern science exclusively conceived as the non plus ultra and as inevitable progress) stubbornly insists on holding on to. In the end we end up with this anormous fallacy: if technology is destroying our environment, we need more technology to fix the problem. Einstein, for one, who was both a scientist and a philosopher, knew better and advised us to get out of that trap or forfeit the very future of humankind. But I suppose old habits die hard.

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