Why Culture is Paramount When Doing Business in a Foreign State

Are you thinking about expanding your business into a Latin American country sometime soon? Before you do, take some time to consider how culture is going to impact the way you do business in this country. If you don’t take the culture into consideration, you could start things off on the wrong foot and cause your business to fail in the long run. Here is how culture is going to play a part in your business’ plans to expand.

Culture can make or break business relationships.

How do people greet one another in the country you’re going to be expanding to? What do they wear when they attend business meetings? Do they expect you to be on time or is punctuality something that’s not all that important to them? The culture of a country dictates how people behave towards one another in a business setting. If you can’t answer any of these questions, you could run the risk of offending someone in the business world and hurt your company. It’s best to familiarize yourself with the local customs before expanding.

It can affect the way you market your business.

If you have a winning marketing strategy in the U.S., you might be tempted to implement that same marketing strategy in a Latin American country. However, that could prove to be a big mistake if that country has dramatically different cultural values than the values in America. You should think long and hard about everything from what you’re saying in your commercials to the way in which you’re packaging products when expanding into Latin America.

It can cause confusion at the negotiating table.

If you’re going to be trying to negotiate deals in Latin America, you’re going to find that it can be different than doing it in the U.S. There could potentially be misunderstandings during negotiations that result in them falling apart. The key is figuring out what’s acceptable and what’s not when negotiating in other countries. This will allow you to maintain your edge at the negotiating table without inadvertently rubbing others the wrong way.

The importance of culture when doing business in a Latin American country simply cannot be understated. By learning the culture of a country, you’ll give yourself and your business a better chance to succeed. SMG Consulting Services offers services that can help you better understand the culture of a country.  Contact us to hear about these services.

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