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3 Problems That Cultural Barriers Cause in International Business

When you start doing business internationally, you’re going to get a bit of a culture shock. You need to learn how to navigate the language barrier, which can cause you a lot of problems. It’s also important that you understand how business culture differs from place to place so you can make sure that you’re conducting yourself in the correct way. This is a massive challenge for a lot of companies when they first go global and if you don’t navigate those cultural barriers properly, it could have devastating effects on your business. These are some of the problems that you’ll face if you don’t handle cultural differences in business in the right way.

Legal Issues

Contracts are an incredibly important part of running a business but they can get very complicated sometimes. Trying to understand these lengthy legal documents that are often filled with jargon can cause problems, now imagine that you’re trying to do that with the added stress of a language barrier. If you don’t fully understand that terms of a contract that you’re signing and you break those terms, you could end up in legal trouble, that’s why it’s important that you get it translated properly. If you use a translation company like Para Plus Translations lawsuits can be easily avoided. But if you just use your own basic language skills to get through legal documents, it’s likely that you’ll make mistakes that could be very costly to your business.

Supply Chain Issues

It’s important that you have a smooth supply chain, especially if you’re operating across different countries, otherwise, your customers are going to be waiting too long to receive products and you’ll start losing a lot of sales. Your supply chain can make or break your business so there is no room for error here. But managing a supply chain when you’re also trying to deal with the language barrier is incredibly tough. Things like deadlines or shipping regulations may be lost in translation and that’s going to slow things down a lot. That’s why you need somebody with excellent language skills dealing with your supply chain so everybody is on the same page.

Business Etiquette

Business etiquette differs from place to place and there are a lot of different rules or ways of doing things that you might not be used to back at home. But it’s important that you understand the business culture in the country that you’re moving into, otherwise, you risk offending people. When you’re trying to build relationships with suppliers or meet with potential clients, you could ruin it all by making a few simple mistakes with business etiquette. For example, if you’re doing business in Germany, they expect people to get down to business straight away. They’re not bothered about making small talk, they just want you to get straight to the point. But if you’re doing business in Italy, it’s the complete opposite. They like to build a good relationship with business partners so you’ll spend a long time socializing before any business is mentioned. If you go straight in and start trying to make a deal, that will really put them off.

Cultural barriers in business are so hard to navigate but it’s essential that you get it right, otherwise, you’ll struggle to succeed in your efforts for global expansion.

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