Thursday, October 8, 2009

Internet Based Business Opportunities, Entering Foreign Markets

Business originated as bartering for this good or that, trading one service or good for another within a village. It then branched out to trading with neighboring villages and eventually with neighboring countries. That's how we have such things as chocolate, tobacco, silk, etc. Not a whole lot of advertising was taking place at the time, especially since these items were delicacies to foreign markets and were accepted with open arms.

Now we've developed into a global market place where commodities can be traded back and forth with companies across the world, all in a matter of moments. With the invention of the World Wide Web someone in the United States can buy a product from someone in China at the click of a mouse. Pretty cool huh, considering we started off using caravans of carts and horses taking extensive journeys to trade.

Thanks to technical advancements such as the Internet, we can now market to the entire world at the click of a mouse, well, to all those with an Internet connection that is. Don't think that you can get away without market research simply because you can market with a click of the mouse. That's where a lot of people go wrong; they think that everything should be able to be done in an instant. Cultural differences and government regulations are just a couple of the details that many forget about in their haste to start a business.

Identify Critical Cultural Differences

If you've never searched for funny cross-cultural differences, I think you should. If you're in the mood for a good laugh, this is one way you can get it. For example, when General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova to South America it wasn't selling very well. They quickly realized that “Nova”, in Spanish, means “it won't go”. The car was renamed and, big surprise, sales went up.

This example was mainly with brick and mortar establishments entering foreign markets but it really does apply to Internet business as well. Be weary of how you market things, what your slogans mean, what colors you use, and the entire atmosphere of the campaign.

Familiarize Yourself With Government Regulations

There are so many regulations to business in foreign countries that, in some cases, it's easier to hire a professional to figure out what you need to do. If you would like to go global, make sure that you are aware of the different government regulations surrounding imports and exports. Also, realize that in some countries, when you ship a product to the consumer, the product may end up sitting in customs for weeks waiting for someone to approve it. This is why it is imperative that you find out as much about shipping to/from a particular country as possible.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment. You may also be interested in this article about Internet based business opportunities.

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