If you’ve ever traveled abroad, you know that it can be both exciting and a little bit scary, as well. Everyone speaks a different language, has different customs…it’s no wonder that travelers often find themselves coming down with “culture shock.”
Now, can you imagine going through all of that on a business trip? Yikes! Fortunately for business travelers, there are a variety of resources available to help make international business trips less of a hurdle. Let’s take a look:
If you’re visiting another country for business reasons, you may need to obtain a visa in advance. Often, this is even the case in countries that allow American tourists to apply for their visas in the airport when they arrive. Visa requirements vary greatly from country to country and can change frequently, so this is one area where it’s important to have expert assistance.
Consider contacting a reputable business agency to assist you – they can let you know what visas you need and what documents are required.
Language Software and Apps
Being able to speak the local language, even imperfectly, can go a long way toward making your international business trip easier. These days, there’s no need to sign up for an actual language course: software programs like Mango and Rosetta Stone make it easy to learn on your own time. Bootstrapping entrepreneurs who don’t want to pay for the software package can often get access via a local library. Meanwhile, translation apps like WordLens help you cope even in situations where your language skills are sub par.
Becoming familiar with the quirks of the local culture is one of the most important steps you can take before any international business trip.
The way you’re expected to conduct yourself in another country may be quite different from the way you conduct yourself at home.
ExecutivePlanet.com has a set of free guides that can help you with the basics of doing business in another country.
You’ll definitely want to make sure that you have a valid passport before you travel. State Department processing times are six weeks for normal processing and three weeks for expedited processing, but you might not know about a business trip until the last possible moment. Passport agency offices are not located in every city or even every state, and busy executives often don’t have time to travel. In that case, you may wish to use a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport. Expediting companies carry your application directly to the State Department for processing in as little as 24 hours.