Doing business in England
If you’re looking at doing business in England, you’re surely going to be faced with the cultural barrier. Even if you’re from across “the pond” and assume that there’s nothing major to worry about because you speak English, there are still a few things to bear in mind.
Proper English is a must
English people are very proud of their language, which is why you need to localise properly if you want to resonate with your new audience in England. If you don’t invest in a properly-translated website, or it looks like it was done by a non-native speaker, you’re going to harm your brand before you’ve even started as English people are simply not going to trust you. US English is not OK either, if you want to succeed in the UK you’ll need British English.
Right now, buying British is really popular. So, when you’re setting out on your localisation journey, it is important to consider this. If you’ve set up a factory in the UK, then sell your product as British. Or if you’re manufacturing abroad, make sure to invest in some sort of CSR in the UK so that you can highlight the benefits your product/company is bringing to the local community.
Some countries are totally fine with doing business in jeans – but in the UK, this is considered a major blunder. First impressions count, so make sure to dress smartly for business meetings and dinners, etc.
Don’t be too loud!
We Brits are very reserved, so if you’re from a country that’s considered to be loud, you may need to tone things down a notch. You won’t make a very good impression if you’re very boisterous in a restaurant, etc.
English people may not say exactly what they mean…
Something a lot of foreigners have a hard time getting their head around is the fact that Brits will never say exactly what they really mean. Rather than risk offending someone, they would prefer to avoid the topic/giving you a proper answer, thus leaving you wondering where you stand.