A lot more companies are saying “Ni Hao!” “Guten Tag!” and “Hola!” to international customers than five years ago. How many more? Find out here.
With the current state of the U.S. economy, it’s little wonder businesses are starting to look beyond the borders for spaces on its customer databases.
Just check out what finance execs told Robert Half Management Resources. The staffing folks asked:
Is your company doing more business internationally, through international office expansion or a global customer base, than it was five years ago?
- Yes: 61%
- No: 39%
If you’re in the majority camp on this topic — or are considering it — your company has probably given a lot of thought to tax issues, accounting standards, etc.
But there are some smaller, cultural subtleties that require some homework, too. A few to consider:
- Payment times. Your DSO may be in for some big changes when you start selling internationally or gain new customers in new countries. The average payment times vary wildly from nation to nation. It takes British companies 50 days to pay, for example. That’s still 11 days faster than most of the rest of the European Union.
- Business etiquette. Where does nodding your head mean no? How long do you need to study a business card when it’s handed to you? These are answers your company will need as it does business with more countries. Your A/R staffers may not be packing their passports anytime soon, but you could have major foreign customers visit your office. At the very least, bone up on the cultural idiosyncrasies that keep phone calls running smoothly. Keeps egg of Finance’s collective face.