Blog Guest Post
There are some perks that only business travellers could have. For instance, you can go some place new for free–and get paid for it. However, there are days when meetings are scarce, and you have some time to explore the vicinity. In Cebu, it will pay to check out the many tourist attractions.
Why so? The city is a booming metropolitan, and your travails might just lead you to discover a business opportunity or two. There are plenty of good spots in the city, as well as at the outskirts, and a little bit past the structures and “hotspots”, you will see the locals living their days as they usually do. Before you set up your new endeavour, you should always do your research. Culture plays a big role, and here are things that you should check out:
Food – It is a big and important part of every place that you’re ever going to go to. After all, it is what brings people together. It always has, and Cebu is no different from that. As a visitor, you might want to try out the local dishes and delicacies, and more foodie adventures that your tummy will be happy for. It is up to you to stick to restaurants or try out the street food.
Language – Learning Cebuano will give you an advantage. The ability to communicate with your future clients in their native tongue will surely impress them. It is also important to note that non-verbal language is integral in communication and you may want to learn more about gestures and body language. Not to mention the tone of voice or sense of humour.
Religion – Majority of Cebuano’s are Christians, and considering the moral and cultural references of religion in their daily life, it will do you no harm to learn more about it. For instance, the city observes Lenten traditions, and if you’re planning on opening a business, it will be an advantage to know how to operate during that time.
Economy – It will always be smart to learn more about the economy before investing. Currently, the Philippines has a positive investment grade from three different investment grade agencies: Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, and Moody’s. Due to the positive credit ranking, now is a good time as any to start investing.
Clothing – Professional dress will always be important no matter which country you are visiting. It can mean the difference between returning home empty-handed or closing a deal. So, turn to local businesspeople for inspiration on what you should wear as you do not want to be over nor under dressed when meeting with your clients.
Gender Relations – In our modern age, equality is a major issue. If you do not pay attention and treat a man or a woman in the wrong manner, you might as well kiss your client base goodbye. Be especially mindful of touching or maintaining eye contact as they can be easily misinterpreted given the conservative views of many Cebuano executives.
Tolerance – It pays to check out the locals’ willingness to recognise and respect your practices and beliefs as it enables you to know which business ideas would actually work and how you should handle your employees. Visiting establishments with a business idea similar to yours can yield great results.
Technology – While the Philippines may not be as advanced as other countries, it is open to the many innovations from abroad. You should find out just which business devices and systems are already common or not. In this way, you can know if you might need to order them from your home country or can avail of them locally.
Arts – Creativity is essential, especially in the marketing and advertising field. However, you must always bear in mind that what can be considered as art in another culture might be offensive to another. For this reason, you should do your research for what would actually be appealing on billboards and other forms of adverts.
Social Groups – While there isn’t a caste system in Cebu, people still end up being grouped together. This is where senior citizens are separated from the youth and the upper-class are separated from the middle-class. What the members from the different groups can be very different thus you should know how you can cater to the needs of your target audience.
DailyLife – Observing how people get by day to day will let you know how your future business will fare. Mingling with the locals will give you an idea of the over-all culture: the way they speak and how they usually spend their money, for instance.
Government – Cebu has its own local government wherein the leaders for the Province are different from the leaders of the City Proper. You have to know in which jurisdiction your company falls under. Then, you will also need to find out about the requirements for starting a venture. The process is likely to be entirely different to the system at your home country.
Immersing in culture is important if you’re planning to start a business in a new place. After all, knowing the area is a good start for you to find a home for your company, like a condo for lease or an office space for rent in Cebu, as with anywhere else in the world. Just make sure that you deal with a reliable commercial real estate provider and you should have no trouble in setting up your headquarters or branch.
Why explore the tourist destinations to do your cultural research, you ask? The fact is that in most tourist destinations, you will see a lot of different businesses, and you will see how well they are doing. The differences range from the locals’ one-person operated booths to big corporate companies, some of them even foreign. This will give you a general idea on what business sector really is like, for locals and foreign investors alike. We hope that the information we’ve shared will be useful to you in your own entrepreneurial efforts.
About the Author:
Regus is a global company that has 1500 centres in 600 cities and 100 countries. Clients in the Philippines can find out more about their products and services if you check out http://www.regus.com.ph