Never before has the prospect of conducting business on a global level been as achievable as it is today for smaller to midsize companies. However, conducting business on an international basis adds a level of complexity which must be addressed in order to achieve a successful business outcome. Navigating these often very subtle differences can be tricky and could make a difference between a successful outcome or failure in your international business endeavors.

It takes more than having the best product or service in the marketplace to advance to the next level in securing business globally. It takes a solid understanding of your prospective client’s cultural diversity, business etiquette and protocol. These differences between countries and even regions within a country can be staggering.

Methods of communication, personal time and space and conversation topics are but a few. It is quite acceptable in America to ask personal questions, but can be very much frowned upon in other countries. For example, Americans often discuss their children, but, doing so in China could be considered rude and perhaps hurtful. Even with the end of China’s one-child policy, and permitting families to have up to two children; it comes too late for millions of Chinese women. Therefore, is is absolutely best to abstain from discussing your children and their activities with the Chinese.