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Whether you’re a business or a freelancer, now is an amazing time to work with international clients. Technology has made it easier than ever to communicate, and the shift to remote working recently has made businesses and individuals more comfortable with working collaboratively online.
Working with overseas clients can open up a lot of new and exciting opportunities as you expand your business. But it also comes with some challenges you’ll need to work through to make it a success.
Ready to start working with some amazing new ventures? Here’s how to build great relationships when working with overseas clients.
Educate yourself about different cultures
Different countries have different work cultures, and if you’re going to work successfully with them, you need to learn about them. Before approaching a new client, take some time to get to know their work practices, working times and days and more. It helps to take a look at guides to doing business in different countries to help you get off on the right foot. It can be very easy for miscommunication to happen, but the more research you do, the better your chance or working well with others.
Make the most of translation services
Translation services can be extremely valuable if you’re dealing with work in another language. Using legal translation services can help you draft contracts while making it easier for you to produce work to a high standard. It’s not always easy to work in multiple languages, but having the right tools and some help when you need it can make a big difference.
And remember, while Google and Bing Translate are great, it’s always worth having any translations checked over by someone who is fluent in the language!
Adapt your English
Even when communicating in English, it’s easy for things to get lost in translation. When communicating with clients overseas, using plain English is the best approach. In writing, you may need to adapt your spelling (realize not realise and color instead of colour, etc), but you’ll also want to consider the types of slang and different terms you use too.
Making your English plainer not only makes it easier for someone to understand, but it can also aid translations in providing more accurate translations.
Keep things professional
Different cultures have different expectations when it comes to working relationships. While you might have a more casual approach with your local clients, it pays to have more professionalism when conducting business overseas. From keeping your tone even and avoiding being overly confident or dominating the conversation, it’s better to take a neutral approach when it comes to working with others, at least until you get to know them better.
Adjust to working in different time zones
Working with overseas clients will mean working in different time zones. It’s important to be upfront about your working hours when you first engage with clients, while also taking the time to understand theirs. There are different considerations for working with clients in different time zones, including establishing different times for communications, and making sure you keep in touch regularly. You could even outsource some of your work to someone who is local, or if you’ve ever wanted to travel – consider a short stay in the location of your work for a while!
You’ll need to get better at managing your own time and finding ways to run your business more effectively. Once you establish a routine with your new clients, it will become much easier to stick to your schedule and boost your productivity.
Send thoughtful gestures
Working with clients in different countries provides some incredible opportunity to experience and explore other cultures. But it also gives you the chance to share some of yours. Sending thank you gifts can help build up some great relationships with your clients, and makes a wonderful gesture too. Whether at the end of the partnership or to celebrate a holiday or a new year, a thank you gift puts you in your client’s thoughts and shows them that you appreciate your relationship.
By expanding your business to work globally, you can encounter all kinds of exciting new challenges and projects. To make a success of working with overseas clients, you’ll need to do the legwork to understand their needs and ways of working to help you deliver the best results. There are a lot of incredible opportunities out there, so explore what’s out in the world and expand your working horizons.