"Seek to understand, then be understood."

timer Asked: Aug 26th, 2013

Question description

One of Steven Covey's 7 Habit's is "Seek to understand, then be understood." Understanding the market by observing and asking questions that relate to your product succeeding will not be enough. Think of the challenges attempting to market outside your borders for the first time. There are questions to ask when considering the need to compile research data in a foreign market and then operate within it's borders.

  • Competition, who is it?
  • Transportation, is it viable?
  • Other infrastructure, can you move your product?
  • Trade barriers, are they aware and addressing them?
  • The economy, is reliable data for analysis available?
  • Business philosophies, what works, what doesn’t?
  • Legal system, find an expert!
  • Social customs, how does it affect buying patterns?
  • Languages
  • Political climate, this one is HUGE!
  • Consumption patterns, is it measurable?
  • Relevant cultural patters, can you see trends?
  • Religious and moral backgrounds, this is probably the biggest factor!
  • Philosophies of major political groups, things change very quickly sometimes.

Another term that is very important in traditional Chinese business is the practice of guanxi. This is loosely translated as having the connections or influence, usually in business, to get something done. This is a deeply rooted understanding within the culture and cannot be overlooked. This type of practice exists in most cultures, some more stringent than others. The question is, how do you achieve this level of guanxi to ensure that your business is given the opportunity it needs to grow? 

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