Go Global With International Business

With the development of an integrated global economy, marked by free trade and free flow of capital, now is the time to pursue a cutting-edge international business career.

Around the World

In case you hadn’t noticed, U.S. firms are expanding abroad. This requires organizations to form effective strategies for entering the international business market. They need to be aware of legal matters pertaining to specific countries, and they need to be concerned with organizational and administrative issues, especially if they are involved in a partnership with a foreign firm. As international business markets become more competitive, U.S. firms are learning to use resources more efficiently by reducing costs, streamlining operations, and developing marketing strategies.
That’s why today’s professionals need comprehensive knowledge of international business as well as foreign cultures and languages. Globalization has increased the need for international business workers with these specialized skills to manage multicultural and multinational workforces effectively.

“Distance” Learning

An international business degree will provide you with the training you need to manage an international business and to succeed in our global economy. With an international business degree, you’ll be equipped with a global focus across different functional areas of business. You’ll learn theories of international protocol and how they continually change. You’ll learn to recognize global differences and apply sensitivity to cultural diversity issues in communications, management, marketing, and the legal aspects of global business operations in your international business career. You’ll explore the differences among various economic development levels, as well as the new economic groups forming in Europe and Asia.

International degree program coursework may include international marketing, export/import practices, globalization, international trade, financial management, business planning, economic development, international law, international business policy, international culture, foreign languages, overseas business practices, foreign market analysis, foreign operations, sourcing, communications and negotiations, critical thinking processes, ethical codes of conduct for global business leaders, marketing strategies, and management practices and processes.

The Real World

With an international business degree, you can work as a business strategy consultant, managing consultant, account manager, project manager, business developer, distribution manager, director of international affairs, finance advisor, foreign market analyst, or management analyst, to name a few.

Management analysts, for example, held about 605,000 jobs in 2004, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment of these international business career professionals is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. And, median annual earnings of management analysts were $63,450 in May 2004, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $120,220.

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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.

Focusing on International Business

If you have always been fascinated by world cultures, exotic languages, international travel and foreign customs, you may want to pursue an Associate’s Degree in International Studies. Unlike a Bachelor’s Degree, an Associate’s Degree only requires two years of schooling.

What does an Associate’s Degree in International Business entail? Students who choose to enroll in a college training degree program in International Business will participate in intensive courses, focused classes and career preparation training that will prepare them for successful careers.

International business generally encompasses any subject or topic that deals with the function and operation of any businesses that are involved with or located in several different countries. These companies are often called multinational corporations.

Today, there are hundreds of multinational companies. Some well-known examples of them are Gillette, ALCOA, Procter & Gamble, Polo Ralph Lauren, Shiseido, DuPont, Citibank, DHL, Federal Express, Silicon Graphics, Sylvania Lighting, Hewlett Packard, Unilever, AT & T, Bacardi, Bank of America and Lockheed Martin International. These businesses typically have an interest or subsidiary over another company in the country of venture. International business is often substantially influenced by the factors outside of business, such as social, political, cultural, global and legal environmental standards of specific countries. Globalization has also powerfully contributed to the growing profit of international firms.

Everyday standards of living, legal regulations and government laws can vary from continent to continent. A person who wishes to professionally interact with international or foreign clients must face issues such as cultural differences, climate changes, language barriers, business practice variations and other possible conflicts.

Earning an Associate’s Degree in international business give students a comprehensive education. Students will take business studies courses, general studies classes and cultural awareness program training. Associate Degree school degree programs provide students with skills in information technology, business management and international studies. Students will acquire skills that incorporate business strategies and smart tactics that will lead to the development of a culturally-educated, knowledgeable
business leader.

An Associate’s Degree in international business can lead a college graduate into many different types of careers. A graduate can go on to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management or International Business or can go and work directly in the corporate world. By learning a second language, a person can become an even more valued asset to a company. Many companies seek out college graduates who are fluent in Spanish or Chinese and also possess a background in international business.

There are many different routes that a student can take with an Associate’s Degree in international business. A graduate can explore the areas of exporting and importing foreign banking, tangible goods and world-servicing nonprofit organizations and international business empires. By pursuing an education in international business, a student can:

Study business ideals, practices, laws and standards in a multicultural or international environment
Familiarize oneself with the legal practices and procedures of various cultures and countries
Gain experience in the spheres of international business that are continuously evolving
Learn about cultural differences that may potentially impact an cross-cultural relationship among clients

International Business Degree Schools Online

Online schooling options are available to students looking to obtain a degree in international business. There are numerous schools and colleges that offer online degree training in the field of business. Students can prepare for the career of their dreams by enrolling in a number of programs. Online schools and colleges allow students to train for careers working in international finance, management, marketing, sales, importing and exporting, and more. Student may study coursework such as foreign culture, economics, imports and exports, tax, and much more depending on the chosen level of degree and specialization. Online degrees in international business can include an associate’s, bachelors, masters, and doctorate degree.

Associates degree programs are available from numerous online schools and colleges. Students can obtain an associates degree in international business in as little as two years depending on the specific area of concentration they choose. Coursework may consist of studying international trade, macroeconomics, global markets, international marketing, and other related courses. Students who wish to enroll in an accredited online program can train for careers with banks, multinational manufacturers, import/export corporations, consulting firms, and other international organizations. With an accredited associates degree students will have the skills and knowledge to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the field.

There are a number of accredited online educational programs that allow students to train for numerous careers in international business. An online bachelor’s degree program will take students approximately four years to complete. Course curriculum will vary depending on the specialization chosen by the students but may include the study of economics, principals of marketing, foreign language, international business finance, cross cultural studies, and much more. Students who wish to pursue international careers such as management analyst, sales representative, auditor, and accountant, should consider a bachelors degree. Those who wish to further their education can consider online degree training for a master’s degree in international business.

Online schools and colleges allow students to enroll in masters degree programs in the area of international business. Online degrees at this level typically take students two additional years to obtain. Students can choose to specialize in a specific area including international trade, tax, management, and much more. Areas of study may include international business policy, trade controls, international finance, foreign operations, and more depending on the chosen specialty. With an accredited masters degree students can pursue careers as international marketing directors, multinational managers, international trade managers, financial controllers, and international foreign policy advisors. A degree at this level of education will allow student to enter the workforce or enroll in a doctorate program.

A doctorate degree in international business will allow students to earn their degree with an additional two years of study. Online educational programs train students in a number of subjects to ensure they receive the knowledge and skills to pursue the career they desire. Coursework may include theory of international business, research design, marketing, communications, multi-national enterprise, and much more. With an accredited online education students will obtain the necessary training to find employment as economic researchers, university professors, business development managers, chief executive officers, and other professionals. A doctorate degree is the highest level of degree obtainable in the field of international business.

Students looking to train for the career of their dreams with an accredited online school or college can obtain the degree they desire from just about anywhere. Online international business educational programs allow students to train in a number of specialty areas to ensure they receive the career they desire. By researching programs and requesting information students can be on their way to an exciting new career.

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.

5 Tips To Help You Keep Your Conveyor Chains Operational

Conveyor chains are used to drive different types of conveyor units and use different types of power transmission. If you want to get the most out of your equipment, make sure you maintain them. This is even more important if they are installed in the mining and construction industry. Given below are a few tips that can help you ensure your conveyor chains will continue to work properly.

1. Follow the Maintenance Schedule

First of all, you may want to inspect and service them to ensure proper alignment, lubrication and tension. If inspected on a regular basis, they can last up to 15,000 hours. It’s better if you schedule filter and oil changes every 3 months. On the other hand, the cleaning of bigger parts, such as shafts, machine lubrication and replacement of damaged or worn sprockets and sideplats should be done on an annual basis.

Following the maintenance schedule is paramount, especially if you have installed the conveyor chains in the construction and mining industry.

2. Lubricate Wisely

For smooth operation, conveyor drives and chains should be free of moisture and dust. Most of these systems require petroleum-based oil. It’s not a good idea to opt for heavy greases and heavy oils. The reason is that they are overly stiff and can’t lubricate the system properly. Given below are some common ways of lubricating the conveyor chains. Some of them are listed below:

Stream lubrication
Disk lubrication
Drip lubrication
Manual lubrication

Based on the power and chain speed, the right method can be used. For reducing wear and tear and enjoying all the benefits, it’s important that you lubricate the system properly.

3. Get Heat-Treated Parts

Heat treatment can be used to improve the mechanical components. Therefore, manufacturers control the treatment methods for best results. In other words, to reduce wear and tear, it’s important to perform proper heat treatment.

Case hardness and depth are the two primary parts of component heat transfer. This plays a great role as far as resistance and durability is concerned. If the depth is too much, the parts may break while working due to brittleness.

4. Make sure there is Proper Alignment and Tension

Make sure you check the slack span and chain tension, and perform the required maintenance. If you need to reduce the tension, you can eliminate two pitches and then connect the chain again. However, you may need to replace the entire chain if the wear and tear goes beyond the functional limits.

Also, you may not want to connect new chains to the worn one as it can damage the drive. Misaligned sprockets can also cause the link plates of the roller chain to get a lot of wear and tear.

5. Check the Primary Parts

Typically, conveyor chains have two main parts that go through wear and tear: sprockets and chain. Chain stretching happens due to this very reason and results in the complete replacement of the sprockets and chain.

Therefore, you should inspect conveyor chains for any broken parts, deformation and cracks.

In short, these are the tips you can follow to maintain your roller chains.

5 Benefits Listing Your Business in Internet Directories

You can enjoy a lot of benefits if you have your business listed in an internet directory, such as Top5Biz.com. In fact, the more directories you use the greater number of benefits you can enjoy. Given below are some of the prominent benefits of using these directories. Read on to find out more.

Exposure

We know that proper exposure is required for all types of businesses. The more exposure your business gets, the higher number of visitors will know about your products or services. On the other hand, if your prospective customers can’t find your site, they won’t be able to buy your products or services.

By listing your business website in these directories, you can get the exposure you need. As a matter of fact, a large number of people search these directories in order to find what they are looking for. Their goal is to look for a specific product or service.

Better Ranking

We know that better ranking is important for any website. If your website is indexed in many web directories, it will send a signal to search engine crawlers that your website is authentic. And this will help you get your website ranked on major search engines. As a result, you will be able to enjoy better rankings in major search engines.

These directors get your website ranked better and get the word out about your business. And this is a huge benefit.

Inexpensive Advertising

If you run a business, you know the importance of advertisement. The primary purpose of advertisement is to help clients find your business and know more about it. You may not have a big budget for your advertisement campaigns. This is where you can spend a little money and achieve the purpose by getting your website indexed in internet directories.

Unlike the conventional advertising, business directories are much affordable. Therefore, they can help you save tons of money on advertisement.

Professional Opinion

If you want your business to look professional in the eyes of your visitors, we suggest that you try internet directories. This will help you improve your business status. In other words, this technique will help you make buyers have a professional opinion about your business.

Once your site is listed in these directories, it will look as professional as the top business enterprises out there. Aside from this, your website will be considered an authority in the niche. As a result, you will be able to get more and more customers and clients.

Search Engine Optimization

Internet directories offer another great benefit, which is called search engine optimization. Basically, these directories allow you to get a lot of inbound links. When a visitor finds your site in the directory, they will click he link and get directed to your website. So, this is an effective way of getting a lot of traffic.