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International Business Specialist Business Idea

With our decidedly global environment, you can build a business as an international business specialist and help organizations build better relations with companies in other countries.

Business Etiquette 101

We were taught to say “please” and “thank you” when we first learned how to talk. That was personal etiquette. It was our introduction to getting along with others and showing civility. As we grew older, we learned that there are rules our society has on how we act toward each other in certain situations.

In business, those rules sometimes became even more complicated. Do you shake with one hand or two? Or do you bow? Is it ever acceptable to kiss a woman on the cheek upon meeting her?

Can you take the last donut at the breakfast meeting? Should you answer your phone when someone is in your office? What if it’s your boss (either on the phone, or in your office)?

Many of these questions we learn along the way, perhaps with a mentor explaining the subtleties to us. But sometimes we need to learn business protocol quickly and do not have the time or resources to learn the common practice along the way.

International Business Etiquette

Even small home based companies selling on EBay work with customers or clients from other countries. Many U.S. corporations have headquarters scattered throughout the world. Likewise, many non-U.S. based companies have offices here in the States.

Businesses wanting to work with other businesses across the oceans need to understand differing customs. The effort to do this shows respect and interest, which can enhance the long-term business relationship.

If you’re traveling abroad and considering bringing a gift to your host, you’d better check to make sure you’re not making a mistake. In China, your gift may first be refused, so the recipient is not seen as being greedy. You, however, need to keep insisting on giving the gift.

What about business attire? In some countries, particularly for women, the amount of coverage is paramount. Knowing what is custom in the country can help keep the focus on the business at hand.

As an international business specialist, you can provide your client with the information and warn him of any potential gaffes. (Never bring an even number of flowers to a host in Norway. And don’t make the O.K. sign in Brazil.)

How to Become An International Business Specialist

Although some universities have international business programs, other resources provide more immediate results. Programs like The Protocol School of Washington ( offer seminars addressing international business etiquette.

In addition, read all you can. A number of books have been written about manners in a global setting. Keep up with the news, especially international and business news.

Once you have the experience, research companies in your area to find ones that are beginning to expand overseas. Contact them and offer to make a presentation to their employees on protocol for that specific country.

With an appreciation of other cultures, great communication skills and an awareness of business needs, you can grow a great consulting business as an international business specialist.

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