How to Get More Done on an International Business Trip

In theory, business trips are great. You can see more of the world. Also, meet international clients and of course help your business to profit in the global sphere. However, when you’re navigating the complex world of international markets, it’s important not to slack or see business as an extension of the way you do things at home – it’s not a case of one size fits all. Here are some tricks to ensuring everything runs smoothly abroad.

Learn about other countries where you will go for your business trip

Business customs vary greatly around the world when compared to those in the US. Outside of America, the emphasis is on different matters. For example, in Europe, a work/life balance is considered to be more important than you may be used to. When approaching British businesses in order to partner with them – to use just one example – you need to be wary of the fact that the staff working in their offices may work shorter days, have longer lunch hours, and be entitled to far more paid time off.

Do not see this as a bad thing or a barrier when it comes to working with European companies – studies have actually shown that workers in Europe are among the most productive, despite legally mandated vacation days that may seem excessive (though undoubtedly welcome) to some.

You should also look at how best to avoid offending those in other nations. The last thing you want to do is ruin an otherwise perfect deal by making a faux pas. 32% of us already admit to having made such mistakes – and they cost.

Integrate with the people

If your aim is to understand a market before you close a deal, what better way to do so than by integrating with the local people? Not only can this help you to overcome any cultural barriers, but it can also help you to identify where there may be challenges.

A team may be skeptical of foreign investors or partners, so why not offer to take them to lunch? A small gesture can go a long way in winning over clients, even involving those who aren’t necessarily at the top.

Find out where you can get the best salads in London and check out great local inspiration fitting to the season – or alternatively, look to order an American-themed BBQ or pizza blowout. A small cost now could earn you back thousands (or more) in the long run.

You should also get a local person from the company to show you around if there’s time. You get more time getting to know them, with the added bonus of not flying all that way to see nothing.

Get organized before your business trip

Before flying internationally, be sure to make what you want as clearly as possible. Outline your goals so everybody has clear expectations on the aims you’re hoping to achieve. In order to waste as little time – and money – as possible, ensure everything is planned out meticulously. While you may (and should) hire assistants to ensure things run smoothly, check each detail of the plans to ensure professional results.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan