The Importance of English in International Business

The major factor involved in the importance of English in international business is the acceptance of English as the international language of the business community for the purpose of uniformity in communication. Accepting English eliminates the need to explore an alternative language. If not English, then what language works better for the international business community?

English as an International Language

Perspective of English as Global Communication

If English as a global language “means that English has the widest distribution on the most continents, it is true. If it means that English is the language most utilized for international communication between and among language communities, it is true. But if it implies that English is the language of all the peoples of the globe, it is manifestly false” (Harris, 2001, 685). What may be good for the functionality of business may not be accepted as being good for the non-business community. With any new project or venture, research and development of the product or service should be done so that words used to communicate with the new market are not received with offense. Be sensitive and respectful concerning the decisions made in regard to the ways communication is used and worded.

Perspective of English as Learned Communication

“It is crucial that students are equipped with-and be aware of-both the linguistic and strategic repertoire that they can draw from in situations where they use English to communicate with those who do not share their first language and culture. In addition to the development of strategic competence, students also need to be reminded that communication is a two-way road. That is, making one’s own message clear and trying to understand others is not the sole responsibility of non-native speakers or speakers of ‘less standard’ English varieties (however that is defined). Everyone is responsible for overall successful communication, whether it is international or not” (Matsuda and Friedrich, 2011, 340). Be mindful that words can have different meanings in different parts of the same country. Therefore, having words that have different meaning in different parts of the world is a reasonable possibility. There can also be different versions of English in different locations. Business English could also be different from the native English of an English-speaking country. Do not assume; technology has been made available to know for sure what is involved in any given business project or transaction.

English in International Business Communication

“In thinking about the impact of English on international business, there will be two effects: the intra-language effect and the inter-language effect. The intra-language effect would relate to the impact that English has in stimulating international business activity between English-speaking countries” (Hejazi and Ma, 2011, 153). If the native English of each of the two countries is slightly different, it still could have the feel of dealing with a non-English speaking country if time is not spent coming to an agreement defining business English. Business professionals new to a market will benefit by finding out how things work and use the same language the other market stakeholders are using.

“The inter-language, commonly referred to as “lingua franca”, effect refers to the impact English would have on stimulating FDI activities between countries which have different official languages. The inter-language effect would have two dimensions: the first involves the use of English by a non-English-speaking country when carrying out international business with English-speaking countries; the second involves the situation in which English is used as a vehicle language between two non-English-speaking countries that use different official languages” (Hejazi and Ma, 2011, 153). Even though cooperation in using English in both cases may result in positive benefits for the countries involved, sensitivity in communication should be exercised to avoid miscommunication that may offend members of the markets involved. Good judgment with word choice is very important.

Conclusion

The importance of English in international business will depend on the purpose of the communication for which English is involved. Since the importance of English will vary depending on whether its use helps to complete business transactions, the deciding factor will depend of the opinion of the users concerning that fact. The success of communication in business will involve other factors. The more English works in communication for international business, the more it will be used. It will then be used because it is used by the people for whom businesses want to communicate.

Four Steps to Accelerate International Business Growth

U.S. exports continue to grow, but many American companies lack the international business know-how to capitalize on this potential source of increased sales and profits. Proliferating trade agreements and a weakened U.S. dollar have resulted in one of the most favorable export markets in decades. Foreign importers of U.S. goods report an increasing demand for U.S. products–from popcorn to pet food. The U.S. has enjoyed 11 straight quarters of increasing exports–yet with 95 percent of the world’s population residing outside of U.S. borders and an increasingly promising international sales outlook, experts are questioning why only 5 percent of U.S. companies are currently exporting. But how do we initiate and sustain growth in unfamiliar markets?

1. DEFINE STRATEGIC NEEDS

Tapping into new markets provides the opportunity for increased revenue and profits. However, this initiative needs to be consistent with the company’s overall strategy. Inconsistent, sporadic, or unfocused deployment of resources directed toward international growth can result in an underperforming initiative that soaks up limited resources with little return. Barriers to entry (duties, regulatory, and trademark restrictions) need to be identified and addressed. A SWOT analysis detailing the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will identify and help maximize the company’s strengths, minimize its weaknesses, and give focus to the international opportunity.

An international growth plan consistent with the corporate strategy will enhance the odds of success. Tactical aspects of international development such as sales, distribution, and marketing need to be addressed. International growth factors can be sufficiently different from the U.S. models that a lack of familiarity can dramatically reduce the chances of success. Above all, there must be clear direction, full management support, and dedicated resources.

2. SECURE APPROPRIATE ASSISTANCE

Small or medium firms initiating or expanding into international business will find the U.S. Government’s Department of Commerce (DOC) an enthusiastic partner in helping American companies succeed globally. This organization coordinates resources from across 19 Federal agencies to help American businesses plan their international strategies in an increasingly globalized environment. In an unfamiliar foreign market with confusing regulations, uncertainty, and risk, the DOC can help U.S. businesses navigate the overseas sales process and avoid hazards such as payment defaults and misappropriation of trademark and intellectual property.
The DOC’s commercial service provides a surprisingly actionable array of quality services including in-country market research, trade events and missions, trade leads, and introductions to prospective business partners. The Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration unite to help in the financing of U.S. goods and services exports to the international market, enabling companies to turn international leads into solid sales.

Firms specializing in international business development can help jump-start foreign expansion. These firms are groups of highly skilled, experienced professionals offering practical, cost-effective assistance to companies committed to maximizing revenue and profit potential through accelerated international growth. The range of services offered varies by firm, but overall they help companies conceptualize, implement, and manage large or small international business development projects. These services can range from determining the overseas market potential for a product to managing a firm’s export sales to identifying and qualifying foreign strategic alliances.
A company wanting to penetrate the international market needs to assign a fully dedicated resource to this initiative. This individual should be the linchpin connecting the organization’s resources, know-how, and culture to the international initiative. As the business develops, additional resources should be assigned to maximize the opportunity. These should be considered investments rather than costs.

3. DETERMINE MARKET ENTRY STRATEGY

A firm’s appropriate market entry strategy will largely depend on its level of international development. For a company just commencing its international development, market penetration via in-country distributor sales may be the fastest and most cost-effective way to enter a foreign market. Selling through in-country distributors is relatively low-risk and will provide valuable learning opportunities. Once the target country or region has been identified, a process that will naturally derive from the SWOT analysis, the selection process can begin. Various U.S. government agencies and trade associations can provide a wealth of data to begin narrowing the selection.

Trade publications and events are also an excellent source. Factors to consider when selecting a market may include such criteria as regulatory environment, market size and potential, cost of entry, and competitive environment. To further narrow the possibilities, an in-country visit is required. Once there, the use of trade leads, competitive evaluations, local government assistance, and potential candidate interviews will provide additional information and insights. Major considerations in selecting a distributor are: willingness to assign a dedicated resource, market leadership or track record, marketing savvy, complementary and not competitive products or services, site inspection, and financial stability.

Penetrating a new international market is often perceived as an extension of the existing domestic business. Consequently, many American companies bypass standard business guidelines requiring rigorous market analysis. Only after performing thorough due diligence can one elaborate a service or product offering and accompanying marketing programs.

A company’s preferred mode of entry–in-country distribution, joint venture, merger, or acquisition–will depend on that firm’s primary objectives from opportunistic sales to positioning for long-term market-driven growth.

Economic globalization will increasingly lead to the creation of strategic alliances. U.S. firms must make sure that potential partners share short- and long-term objectives in order to reduce the divergence of ideas and efforts. Common values and shared business/ethical standards will enhance communications, transparency, and effectiveness. The partners should have complementary strengths and weaknesses to build a stronger and more effective alliance. Principles and processes for conflict resolution and the relationship must be drafted and agreed to by all parties concerned for the partnership to run smoothly.

4. DESIGN EFFECTIVE MARKETING

All markets have commonalities. However, effective international marketing begins with the awareness that markets are also different in ways that are not immediately apparent. The key is understanding consumers and identifying their needs through culturally specific market research. Focus groups can be especially effective in identifying the international consumer’s wants and needs. The advertising agency used in developing the offering should be local or have local representation. Employees with a thorough knowledge of market characteristics and idiosyncrasies will be particularly effective in communicating the desired message and creating and enhancing the brand image. Language skills and an affinity for different cultures are critical assets when marketing internationally.

Flawless execution is key. As a firm executes the international strategy guided by a solid business plan, it is important to celebrate milestones and benchmark against industry leaders.

The Benefits of This Small Business Marketing Method

In this digitalized world, technology has made it very easy to reach your targeted audience.

Small business owners are always looking for marketing that is credible, measurable and cost-effective!

Email marketing is imperative for the success of a business. What problem most businesses face? Simply said, most businesses don’t know how to do it right. Picking the best online marketing software for mass email has a direct impact on the success of your marketing campaign.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a term defining the action of businesses sending a message. This message is sent to a group of people through the electronic mail. It includes advertisements, sales or solicitation. Any email that helps in generating customer loyalty and trust in the product. Therefore, email is an efficient way to stay in touch with your customers and promote your business.

Moreover, with the help of small business email marketing, you can easily reach a wider range of clients. This saves money and time and provides a go-to database you can tap into when you have a special promotion or product announcement. It can be said that there is no guarantee that your message will reach 100% of your targeted audience, but then again no online marketing can guarantee that.

Let’s take a look at 10 reasons why sending email tops any form of online marketing.

Small business email marketing is beneficial for all the business regardless of their size.

Email has a Larger Reach

Most of the people believe that social media is the best way to reach an audience. But they don’t understand the importance of email. In 2013, the total number of email accounts was 3.9 billion. According to Radicati, there was a prediction that number of email accounts by 2017 will be 4.9 billion.

Furthermore, it can be said that email is the currency of the web. The reason is that whoever is online has an active email ID. Thus, there is no way better to than email to reach a wider range of customers. Email is growing at an exponential rate.

Creates Brand Awareness

When you send an email to your clients, you are exposing them to your brand and business. With the help of strategic planning and smart design, your business will build value with ongoing email campaigns. This will lead to you staying at the top of your customer’s mind. Further, it will increase the chances of potential customers to buy your products. As a result of this, you can turn the clients into loyal customers.

Cost Effective

What is the most appealing benefit of email marketing? It is the return on investment as the businesses does not have to incur postage fees or advertising fees. Email grows your list and contact database with each campaign sent or email list purchased.

Segmentation

With the help of small business email software for marketing, you can send emails to subscribers who meet the specific criteria. For instance, there is a sale of sports goods. The email can be sent to those customers who have an interest in sports. A report stated that those who used segmentation in the email have improved the chances of engagement.

Call to Action

Another benefit of email campaigns are that it calls to action. Email marketing is a great tool for taking advantage of impulse buying. It allows the customers to see a good offer and buy it within just two clicks. With a great call to action and link to check out, email newsletters can increase sales.

Easy to Track

It is easy to see where you are doing something wrong in email and sending multiple campaigns with different subject headers is a great way to split test and see what’s working best for your particular email list. This small business marketing software lets you track, conversion and click through rates. This provides is a chance to see how the campaign has improved. Moreover, if there is something wrong, you can easily and quickly correct the mistakes.

Result Seen Immediately

When a business sends an email, they can witness the results in few seconds. A great sales marketing plan is 24-hour sales. It forms a sense of urgency and convinces the subscribers to take action immediately.

Easy To Create

To make email marketing successful, you don’t need a huge team. You can without any trouble create an email campaign with the help of templates, images, and logos. Then simple paste or write in your message and call to action. A great email marketing software will also track your opens, and clicks and provide complete statistics.

Shareable

The customers can easily share the best offers and ideas with their friends and family. They can do this just with a click of a button. Apart from this, your customers can introduce your business to a new market.

Email will be Around

Email has been around for a lot years. In 1978, the historical first ever promotional email campaign was sent. It was sent to almost 400 people. Since its inception, email has been growing consistently. Previously you needed a developer to create an email but now you can easily send emails.

Hence, creating an email list is a stable and long-term investment. It will be beneficial in the years to come.

Who can I use to Manage my Email Campaigns?

Email marketing is a cost-effective tool that is easy to manage. Choosing a good company to service your needs is important.

A good software enables you to create highly engaging emails. Along with this, it helps you in handling your contacts, tracks the performance your email campaigns and divides the customers into groups. The email list you created for you to use in future and stay in touch with your customers. It makes sure that your email does not end up in the spam folder.

How to Improve Your Local Business Marketing

Do you know that local business marketing is not only meant for businesses that are using the internet and other technological tools to develop their universal path? Local marketing for a business is also sometimes referred to as local SEO. Generally, it is concentrated on the geographical places where you are running your business. It is considered as one of the best means to search businesses or people within your locality who are already trying to find your product or services.

Local marketing makes use of very similar techniques of any form of internet marketing. The only difference is that it includes a geographical component to its marketing strategies. This serves as the best way to make sure that your business is able to drive higher traffic and leads from customers and clients that are within the area in which you are operating your business. It is a form of business strategy in which you narrow down the focus of your internet marketing campaign. As a result, you are able to focus more on your specific target market and business prospects. But the question is how you will be able to do that. Well, there are many ways on how you can improve your local business marketing.

These are the top four strategies on how you can make your local business marketing even more effective:

1. Website – Some local businesses tend to take no notice of their sales assets. Do you know that your website is one of your greatest sales assets? It is said to be the only local business marketing tool that can greatly generate leads and profits to your business 24/7. A website is known to be a very effective way to boost up your sales and marketing campaign. Because of this, you must create a website that is especially designed based on your business. Remember that you want to grab the attention of your customers and prospects through your website.

2. Google Places – This is a vital requirement for any business that is just starting out its local business marketing campaign. The best part about Google Places is that it is easy and economical to use. Above all, it is a surefire means to make sure that your business finds its exact target prospects in the area where you are actually operating your business. If you wish to be on top of your competitors in your local market, then, you should take advantage of Google Places and use it to attract customers and improve your ranking in the local business marketing industry.

3. Business Directory Listings – This is also a crucial element in the success of any local business marketing campaign. There are numerous local business directory listings that are available. These internet directories are usually categorized geographically, specifically by state, province, or country. Using the business directory listing is a good way to obtain links from local sites, thereby improving not only your internet marketing strategy, but also your presence on the local business industry.

4. Building Backlinks to Your Website – It is undeniable that link building plays a great role in the success of any website. But sometimes link building can be a difficult task to some website owners and business operators. But if you will learn the tricks to successful link building, you will definitely enjoy the experience in the long run. Local business marketing can be successful by building backlinks to your website. In fact, it is considered as the easiest, cheapest and guaranteed way to build your local presence in your area. There are many tips and advice that are available on the internet regarding how you can effectively build backlinks to your website. Make sure you check out all these tips and advice to make sure that you get the competitive edge that you want in your local business marketing campaign.