Internationally relocating for a business assignment can be tough, but with the right attitude, can be the adventure of a lifetime! Check out these business relocation tips from yours truly in Investor’s Business Daily last week:
BY SONJA CARBERRY, FOR INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY
02/20/2015 01:21 PM ET
Hopping continents to do business requires finesse. Tips from pros who are at home in foreign lands:
- Live and learn. “No reptiles or insects please.” That’s what R.F. Hemphill learned to say in Mandarin to avoid some Chinese delicacies.
He spent decades on the road for AES (NYSE:AES), a global electric power corporation, and as CEO of solar company Silver Ridge Power.
In Australia, he found “mate” an icebreaker, but only if pronounced correctly as “might.”
Hemphill’s book of letters, “Dust Tea, Dingoes and Dragons,” details his global business adventures.
- Stick around. A stopover won’t leave a lasting impression with locals. “Building relationships is essential to successful business in every country, and you just don’t do that by flying in and out,” Hemphill told IBD.
Staffing those outposts shows commitment. “Finding people willing to move to some of these places was not easy, but once we saw how important it was, we made sure that when people came back from Chengdu or Yaounde, they got good jobs and promotions,” he said.
- Maintain standards. Accepting cultural differences doesn’t mean overlooking business blunders.
“Don’t be satisfied with answers that make no sense, with practices that are counter to what you know to be world class, or with schedules and staffing levels that are not as good as what you would find in a similar location or business unit in the U.S.,” Hemphill said.
Pressing for better helped him maintain high safety standards at power plants everywhere from Cameroon to Bulgaria.
- Take leaps. Frenchman Bertrand Quesada became a New York City transplant two years ago to expand Teads.tv, the video advertising platform he co-founded.
“We felt to have a chance to succeed, one of us has to go there,” said CEO Quesada. “It’s too much of a big opportunity to not be there.”
The firm now has offices spread to South Korea, with 400 employees worldwide. His advice: “Find a regional director to drive the business locally. That’s really the key to attracting the right people.”
- Feel the shift. International relocation was once reserved for big-money executives.
That’s changed, according to Brian Loud, senior vice president with Suddath, which helps firms with relocation and the workplace.
“The younger generation tends to be a lot more mobile,” he said.
- Invest effort.A big move requires more than boxing up personal belongings.
“People underestimate the amount of involvement they need in the move process,” Loud said.
A first step: “Read the material your relocation counselor sends you to prepare,” he said.
Lacking that service, look online for information about expatriates living in your destination country.
- Mind details. “As soon as you find out you’re moving, invest the time,” Loud said.
It can take three to four weeks to tie up loose ends.
Loud has seen hasty movers take shortcuts in such areas as valuing and insuring their property.
“You end up shortchanging yourself,” he said.
- Pace yourself. Don’t overschedule the days before departure. Friends and loved ones, understandably, want to get together.
“It creates a bit of a frenzy,” Loud said. “Try to spread those out over a period of time.”
- Embrace it. Once you arrive, be open-minded.
“Get out and about and experience your new home,” Loud said. “Allow nine months to a year in some cases to feel like you’re adapting.”
Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/management-leaders-in-success/022015-740177-international-business-assignment-relocation-tips.htm#ixzz3SP5rIWg8
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