International Business Ventures
Measuring a potential business venture has many aspects which the international manager must be aware of in order to convey the correct information back to the decision makers. Being ignorant to any of the aspects can lead to a false representation of the project, and hence an uninformed decision being passed. In order for a business to survive it must grow. For growth to be optimal, management must first be able to identify the most attractive prospective leads. The country as a whole, specifically geography, government, and financial aspects must be looked at in order to yield the best possible picture of the market a company wishes to enter. Concentration should be placed on gathering reliable facts that are backed up by more than one source. It is to be hoped that after creating "a picture" of the market, management's analysis of the potential business venture and plan of action will be structured as to avoid losses and to find the most profitable scenarios.
The success of the multinational corporation lies on the shoulders of it's management. International management and organization-design expert Henry Mintzenberg says every CEO has three essential duties: direct supervision, development of the organization's strategy, and management of the organization's boundary conditions. Top management's responsibility at and beyond the organization's boundaries is largely a communication responsibility; however, no commonly accepted model exists for decision, execution, and assessment of communication opportunities. Within even some of the largest and most venerable organizations, the process used is haphazard and inconsistent. The Wyatt Company's survey of communications professionals showed that just 58.1 percent agreed that their organization's communication objectives are linked to business objectives, and 83.3 percent reported that their organizations conduct no formal review of return on communications investment. CEOs must establish and reinforce an organization's image in public by viewing each target public as a client; by doing research, looking at trends, and talking to experts, a CEO focuses on selling what the client wants to buy.1
Finding a country to conduct business in can be a very easy task depending on if the organization's top management follows the advice of Mr. Mintzenberg. The way a company normally discovers where to conduct research is through leads on potential operations from outside sources. The selection of which leads to investigate becomes the difficult task. After sifting through the leads and finding the right ones to investigate management must formulate an international marketing plan. This further helps management in locating potential markets for their products. The first step is to use secondary research to find out what the sales potential is in a given market. Asking the questions of need, demand, and support gives one a starting point for research. If we were a company that sold pants we might want to ask the following questions. Is there a need for pants? Is it cold enough there to wear pants? Do people that demand the pants have money? These are the questions that one should ask of potential markets. Table 1-located at the end of the paper-shows the statistics that are needed for a general market picture. After gathering the information from the secondary research, the picture of a potential market becomes more evident. However, to make the picture clearer, one must conduct primary research. This research outlines the specifics of the potential market that directly pertain to the product. Robert Douglas' book, Penetrating the International Market, addresses the issue of locating potential markets in greater detail.2 [mg1]
After finding a lead that contains profitable markets it is necessary to analyze the venture as a whole. The decisions of companies must be based on the facts of reliable sources on all investments. To...
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