business travel

Why I like going on a Business Trips to a Different Country

Among the most enriching experiences I have had in my professional life are those I have had while traveling overseas. I enjoy business travel, first, because it gives me insight into international consumers’ opinions, attitudes, needs and wants.

You can learn a lot about overseas consumers through research and surveys, teleconferences and videos, pictures and reports – but you don’t really see the whole picture until you have traveled abroad and witnessed the environments and interactions of your international partners in person. For instance, I had seen pictures of Romania in the past, and I had admired the handcrafted work of its traditional craftsmen, but until I visited the country myself, I did not realize the extent of its natural beauty or the diversity of its businesses.

Pictures of the Danube cannot capture its earthy smell, a smell that helps transport you back in time – especially when you are beside one of Romania’s traditional villages. But while Romania’s strong links to the past make it a charming destination to visit, I was most impressed by its thriving industry and rapid development. Its reputation as an automobile manufacturer is growing with the innovations and beautiful styling of Dacia’s newest models.
In addition to gaining insight into the needs and desires of international partners, traveling abroad has allowed me to draw inspiration from businesses and consumers abroad that have helped me formulate ideas on improving business at home.

While American businesses tend to focus on cutting-edge technology and aim to make their products appear as cutting-edge as possible, I was captivated by the charm of Romania’s old-fashioned markets and traditional wares. On a visit to Maramures County, I had the chance to see locals dressed in hand-stitched folk costumes and to visit markets full of meats, cheeses, flowers and crafts. These things made a greater impression on me than many of the advertisements I have seen at home and it inspired me to try to combine the traditional with the modern while at home.

Traveling abroad has also benefited me personally. Exposure to new cultures and traditions has given me an increased understanding of world history and of international relationships. It has helped me grow as a person, opening my mind to new ideas and giving me a greater appreciation not only for other countries, but also of the rich cultural influences that have helped shape my country.

One of the experiences that really made an impression on me was a stop I made at a McDonalds in Russia. I was surprised – perhaps shocked – when the locals began folk dancing as I waited in line – right inside the building. Such things rarely happen in America. Most of us are too reserved or we feel that we must respect the space of those around us, so we try to keep to ourselves. But I was so charmed by the dance that I asked and was permitted to join in. I was surprised at how quickly dancing with others made me warm to them and them to me. That day I formed lasting friendships that I would not otherwise have developed and it made me look at my own culture from another perspective.

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What’s It Like To Be A Woman Entrepreneur

Almost all women who join or work at any organization has the ultimate goal of stepping up the ladder. But if you will notice, majority of corporate leaders are still comprised of men. Although the idea of gender-equality is now recognized in most countries around the world, there are still challenges that hinder women’s success in the corporate world. Several women resorted to establishing their own companies hoping to earn more, be successful, and get recognized. But the challenges of women entrepreneurs remain. Oftentimes, they are even greater than those faced by female corporate employees.

The Challenges that Women Entrepreneurs Face

Want to know what’s it like to become a female boss or entrepreneur? Aside from the inherent tasks of her career, she is usually challenged by the following concerns:

  • Attention dilemma between family and business. Dividing attention between family and business affairs is one of the concerns which can never be eliminated. Although societies have become more liberal, women have family obligations they can never set aside. For example: when a female entrepreneur needs to rest due to pregnancy, it means major or total withdrawal from business affairs.
  • Business decisions influenced by emotions. In business, you will constantly need to make quick and firm decisions based on pure facts and strategies. But everyone must admit, emotions will likely play a role in women’s decision-making process.
  • Fear of failure and success. Another challenge faced by women entrepreneurs and leaders is the fear of failure and success. Fear of failure is usually experienced by starters while those who are already doing well might hesitate to welcome success since it means more and bigger problems or challenges to come.
  • Lack of support from both male and female business leaders. The social stigma and notion that women are less capable than men still do exist. This, together with several other factors makes it more difficult for women entrepreneurs to gain support from male including female business leaders.
  • Lack of funding to start or for growth. As a result of the failure to gain support, women entrepreneurs struggle in searching funds to start up or to expand and grow their existing business.

There are several other challenges. The above mentioned list only presents the most common and largest concerns.

The Internet: A More Level Playing Field

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If women entrepreneurs still experience several challenges when it comes to conventional business, there’s a different story when doing business online. The internet has become the solution for most of their concerns by providing a level playing field not only for men and women but to all business hopefuls.

Women engaged in e-commerce or any type of online business freely manage their time. All online industries and opportunities are open to all who are interested whether male or females. There are several successful online entrepreneurs who are always willing to offer help and support. Everyone can always retry their luck when suddenly met by failure. Success will usually just require you to multiply or scale up the efforts and secret tactics you have discovered. And of course, the cost of starting a business online is extremely cheap.

What female entrepreneurs need to learn today?

Obviously, societies are still not perfect and the challenges for women entrepreneurs will persist for years if not decades. But if you can’t get rid of these challenges, your next best option is to adapt. To be successful in business whether online or offline, female entrepreneurs need to learn to: make effective use of their existing connections, capitalize on their interests and skills, be more creative, search for untapped opportunities and markets where they can outperform others, be more confident and decisive, and look up to good role models.