This world of ours is forever shrinking. What used to be intangible for main stream businesses is available via the Internet, mobile phones, iPad, and countless other media.
There are so many new markets that were unreachable by small business in the past and now are solely a click away. It is almost difficult to believe more businesses have not gone global. All business development involves homework! Yes, homework will prepare you so that this new road has minimum curves and bumps. For example, what are the cultural implications of your product/service? How your literature and brand are presented may draw negative implications in that culture.
Did you know that the colors in which you market, in many cultures (not solely countries), may determine if the business you are reaching out to will positively or adversely affect the relationship you are building? Whether we are aware of that locally shows up in our clothing choices for weddings versus funerals, or what a business person should wear when he or she is a key note speaker or member in an audience. How would you respond if a young bride was wearing a traditional wedding gown but instead of white it is purple or orange? There might be a judgment call regarding the bride. Now translate that to business. Do you want that response for your business?
In some cultures the numbers we display have an effect on how we are viewed. At first you might find this a strange superstition, but consider the fact that most public buildings in the states do not have an official 13th floor. In Michigan, we do not have an exit on I-75 at 13 Mile Road but do have exits at both 12 and 14 mile roads. The concept that numbers have an intangible value is more understandable, when we relate it to something close to home.
Now, apply this information to your service and/or product. As you are developing your new global relationships, request responses to what you are offering. These responses need to be measured. The best way is by learning about the culture that you are doing or hoping to do business with. Take the time to invest in cultural research and it will pay for itself many times over. In some cases, you may not go into a particular global market, but there are many others to explore.