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October 2012 Sponsored by:

October 2012

China

Doing Business and Learning the Culture

Beijing

Destination Guide

London

The Olympic Effect

LinkedIn

The Power of Social Media

Model Business: Caprice’s Story

Caprice Bourret discusses her transition from international model to globally successful businesswomen 1


October 2012

What’s Inside

International Trade Today

•4

Secrets to Success

• 16

Lost in Translation

•6

Business Culture in China

• 18

Destination Guide: Beijing

Three leading businesses tell share their trade secrets Iris Cai talks about the cultural differences when doing business in China

• 10 Caprice’s Model Story

Caprice tells us how she became a successful business women

How to fit in and be at home in the ‘global village’ All you need to know for your trip in this Beijing city guide

• 21 Travelling to China

All you need to know about visas and vaccinations

•12 What a Difference a Summer Makes • 22

The Power of Social Media

How the Olympics gave British business a timely boost

How LinkedIn can help you gain international success

• 14

Chinese Business Etiquette

• 24

• 15

A Game of Risk

Stephen Cole on why doing business in China is different

How international traders can win at foreign exchange

Keeping Fit on the Road

Exercises for the business traveller do use on the road

A Message from the Editor Pistol was right in ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ when he said ‘Why then the world’s mine oyster’. And never has that been truer than right now. Yes, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have recently said that risks to global financial stability have increased and financial markets have been volatile, but at the same time this has spawned fresh opportunities for businesses with the right entrepreneurial thinking. Now is the time for businesses to seek out new ventures and be a part of the solution to the ills of the global economy. Governments throughout the world are currently working towards restoring economic growth, and as such many have adopted new policies aimed at increasing exports in a bid to give output a shot in the arm, generate more jobs and boost income to their businesses. However, as I have already mentioned, it is down to businesses to want to take these opportunities. There is only so much governments can do, the rest, ultimately, is down to the drive and ambition of the businesses themselves. The thought of trading internationally, especially at a time when there is a certain degree of uncertainty in global markets, can be daunting to some, and understandably so. But on the other hand, by looking past your traditional markets you begin to open up so many more opportunities. The world is a much smaller place than it was fifty years ago, take advantage of this and explore the opportunities not just in your own country, but all around the world. The world is indeed your oyster, only it is up to you to find the pearl. Before I sign off and let you delve into the first edition of International Trade Today, I would like to take this chance to thank American Express Foreign Exchange Services for their sponsorship and support in helping to launch this magazine. On behalf of everyone at International Trade Today, enjoy reading. Marcus Leach editor@internationaltrade.co.uk 3


October 2012

O

wning a company that is successful the world over is, for many, the ultimate goal of being in business. To have offices in Beijing, Sydney, New York, Delhi and London. For your product to be used on every continent. So how do you do it? What is the secret to successfully trading internationally? We asked three business owners, all trading on a global scale, to share the secret to their success with us.

Secrets to

Success

Trading Internationonally David Richards

Paul Lindley

CEO of WANdisco

Founder of Ella’s Kitchen We then met several distributors who would actually be selling our products into the market and developed a relationship with the best fit – a small company that shared our business ethics and approach to life. We launched with a tight range of 8 products that has grown to 22 in Sweden and 16 in Norway, where we have all of the top 5 baby food SKUs (stock-keeping units) – incredible in just 3 years.

What is your company and product? Ella’s Kitchen is the leading organic baby and kids food brand in the UK. The company makes 100% organic, nutritious food for babies and kids - with absolutely nothing else added – no sugar, salt, additives, hydrogenated fat, GM or anything artificial. We create packaging that is fun for babies and kids and handy for parents on the go - good in every sense. We have built our brand with a clear vision to make a difference to children’s health around the world. We have a focus to become the first global brand of premium food for pre-schoolers by cultivating healthier eating habits that will last a lifetime.

How did you break into foreign markets? We conducted a survey with UKTI that investigated the ripeness of several European markets and concluded that Sweden and Norway were the most attractive markets. We visited these countries, talked to consumers, customers, distributors and potential parters to build up a deep understanding of how people were ‘more the same than they are different’ around the world.

Why has your product been so successful in foreign markets? Ella’s Kitchen’s international growth strategy is driven by the simple proposition that people around the world are more the same than they are different. We focus on understanding the consumer needs and cultural differences in each market and carefully select a distributor that holds similar values and culture to our brand. We try to rollout our best practise learnt from the UK and our existing markets, however every launch is different, so we tailor and adapt our practise for each market.

What is market?

your

biggest

foreign

Ella’s Kitchen has secured a 20% market share of wet baby food in Norway and well over 10% in Sweden, 6% in Australia and 3% in USA. We were also voted #1 food product in Sweden last year, across the whole of the food and drink industry.

Top tip for trading internationally Measure twice, cut once. Take time to pick the right partner as it’s very hard and slow to undo those initial actions. Ask the same questions to lots of people and compare the answers.

What is your company and product? WANdisco is a software firm jointly headquartered in Sheffield and Silicon Valley. We were founded in 2005, and have become a leading provider of global collaboration software; technology that is used by half the world’s software developers.

How did you break into foreign markets? We were determined not to take an expat approach, and try to replicate what had worked domestically in foreign markets. It’s vitally important to use local people, with language and culture skills, to get a business off the ground in an unfamiliar marketplace. They understand the nuances of selling into the local market, what works and what doesn’t, and help avoid teething difficulties and mistakes that can easily happen if you go into an overseas market with a purely domestic knowledge and skills-base. On a practical level, we made sure to get our documentation and marketing literature translated into the local language, so the entire operation was adapted to succeed overseas. 4


October 2012

Why has your product been so stocking civilian brands that meet the What is your biggest foreign successful in foreign markets? same build quality and durability that market? our customers expect from the items we I think it’s because we hire local people, stock. These change quite regularly. with experience of doing business in Historically, we’ve sold lots of Tartan those marketplaces. How did you break into foreign Trews and Dress Uniform to Asia. markets? Ceremonial items were extremely We’re also careful to use different popular at one point. approaches for each market that we Our basic website in the late 1990s saw The trouble with surplus is that there operate in, so when we roll out the a few enquiries from outside of the UK, is no regular supply chain; you have business in a new country we’re treating but it wasn’t until we started selling on to make the most of a product type it as a specific new venture, and tailoring eBay in 2003 that things really took off. whilst you have the stock and in the it to succeed in the local circumstances. It was like turning on a tap which orders background look for another line that flowed from. you think could be popular.

What is your biggest foreign market?

Since then we’ve invested a lot of effort The USA, where 80 per cent of our sales in an e-commerce website and online are made. marketing; in fact, after initially thinking we would get a freelancer in to do the Top tip for trading internationally work for a few months, we created a full time position to deal with it properly. Never assume that any two foreign marketplaces are alike. The cultural Online sales make up 70% of our differences between, say, Japan and business now and we ship Army Surplus China are so nuanced that you need all over the world on a weekly, if not daily people who understand the ins-and-outs basis. of the marketplace to avoid slipping up. You see a lot of arrogance from Western companies looking to make headway in Asian markets, who assume what they do domestically will work abroad, and that’s absolutely not a given.

Rich Brady

Founder of Denbeigh Army Surplus

We’ve started stocking a line of UK made thermal clothing last winter to combat the supply issue and have been very surprised at how many Australians are buying Thin Thermal Gloves from us, but “Cosplay” has been the biggest market for us in 2012.

Cosplay, short for costume play, sees characters from TV, Film and Graphic novels brought to life by their fans and they must talk to each other, because Why has your product been so I’ve lost count of the amount of Police successful in foreign markets? vests we have shipped to the states that have been used to recreate Amy Securing genuine surplus is the real Pond’s character from Dr Who. draw. There are plenty of people trying to replicate the products we sell, but they Top tip for trading internationally? simply don’t last and perform anywhere near as well. Providing postage costs as early as On top of that you’ve got the collector element. Customers that want a specific item from a specific period in time and fortunately for us there are only a hand full of places those items can be sourced.

you can. Especially to your online customers, there’s no bigger turn off than a hefty postage cost added on at the end of the buying process. We prompt customers to enter their Country as soon as they’ve added their first item into the cart.

People love us a company too; we’re obviously not the only Army Surplus retailers out there, but when people go to our website and see that they’re buying from a family run business that responds to enquiries quickly.

What is your company and product? Denbeigh Army Surplus sell hard wearing footwear, clothing and equipment to mountaineers, construction workers, farmers and military personnel all over the World. We’ve traditionally stuck to a core of genuine Army Surplus products, but more recently we’re testing and

Shipping overseas can be really expensive,more so with us because we only send items tracked and insured. We do lose a small number of orders because of this fact, but we’d rather that then have an item go missing and not have us or more importantly the Social Media is giving us another forum buyer protected. to reassure potential foreign customers too; being able to see images, videos Remember it’s not all bad though, and product testing reduces their fear selling to countries outside of the EU and allows new customers to see exactly means you can deduct the VAT that’s what they’ll receive in the post. a 20% reduction that can make an order total much more agreeable to foreign customers. 5


China: Doing Business and October 2012

Learning the Culture By Iris Cai

U

nderstanding local culture and customs could enhance effective communication with Chinese people and add value to your business dealings. As a Chinese business expert, strategic consultant, international speaker and Mandarin teacher, Iris Cai appears on BBC Radio 5 Live’s On the Money programme where she shares her knowledge and passion for business and Chinese culture. Here she tells International Trade Today the importance of understanding what is behind Chinese thinking and decision making in order to help you have successful communications with Chinese people. She shares with us some interesting tips, as well as some case studies from her consulting work. • Social Etiquette What gift should you not send to a Chinese person? A clock. This is because the Chinese for ‘sending clock’ (送钟sòng zhōng) has exactly the same phonetic pronunciation as ‘burying one’s parents/attending funeral’ (送终

sòng zhōng). It is therefore a big insult to send a clock to others. In a business situation, sending a clock is interpreted as meaning that you wish the person’s business to end. • Lucky Numbers The number 8(八 bā) is considered lucky as it sounds similar to ‘prosper’(发fā). The number 4(四sì)is considered unlucky as it sounds similar to ‘death’(死sǐ. Chinese people therefore like the number 8 and, indeed, it is for this reason that the opening ceremony of the

Beijing Olympics began at 8:00pm on 08/08/2008. When applied to communication and business practices, a business’s phone number is considered to be very important. Whilst doing some strategic consulting for a diamond company I noticed that the office’s switchboard number had the number 4 as its last digit. As they exported to China I advised the CEO to change the last number to 8 instead. The company is based in Mayfair in London, but Chinese people don’t know the prestige 6


October 2012

that comes with having a Mayfair with different cultures that this address. helped enrich creativity and add value to HSBC’s UK business as When Chinese people look at a well. business card, they tend to focus more on how many 8’s and 9’s When sending business gifts try there are in the phone numbers not to use black or white wrapping (9 is also considered lucky, as it paper - red, gold or other colourful sounds like ‘forever’). Chinese paper is considered better. people actually pay to buy phone numbers with the numbers 8 or Also, it pays to consider colours 9 as their last digits. The more carefully when designing websites, 8s there are in a phone number business cards, packaging and the more power and stature a interior office decoration. If you company is considered to have. look at Nestle Coffee’s Chinese website the background is red. A similar approach is best with It is important to realise that by regards to pricing strategy - aim to understanding local culture you put 8 or 9 as the last digit on any will add value to your business. prices and avoid 4 as the last digit. Chinese people feel happy to pay Also, it is best not to send a green to buy ‘good luck’ (8) and ‘forever’ coloured hat to a man. This is (9). Also, you should not be because of an ancient Chinese surprised if some hotels have no story that tells of a man’s wife 14th floor, and instead have 13th who had an affair with another upper floor and 13th lower floor. man and then put a green hat on In some cities flat prices on the her husband’s head. Therefore, if 14th or 24th floor can be cheaper you work in the fashion industry, than other floors. Property agents remember to not export green should avoid recommending any hats for men to China. address with the number 4 in it to prospective Chinese buyers. Furthermore, it is best to not use a red pen when writing a person’s • Lucky Colours name. In older times, when a person was either exiled or given Red is considered a lucky colour the death sentence, their name in China and is therefore used in was written in red on a poster celebrations. For example, at a outside the courthouse. In so wedding it is traditional that the doing, it was then believed that bride’s wedding dress is red. this would be the last time their name would appear in the world. I once gave advice to an advertising company, JWT, to help brainstorm In negotiations Western and and deliver creative ideas for their Chinese people’s thinking client, HSBC. Following my advice process is different. To better they are now putting positive understand this cross-cultural Chinese words on a red lantern difference could help add value to on advertisements targeting the your business. UK market. It was amazing that There are two ways of doing through becoming more familiar business with China. One is to

go to China itself, while the other is to supply services to Chinese companies operating in the UK. There are over 450 Chinese companies that have branches in the UK that need professional services, and this trend is growing. But no matter what form of business you engage in with Chinese companies, remember to respect their culture, as doing so may be the difference between success and failure.

This above article is from Iris’ new book ‘Business in Chinese – Chinese Language and Culture for Beginners.’ It will be available on Amazon. co.uk. If you would like to find out more, Iris’ next Business Chinese Language & Culture course starts from the 8th of February onwards. The course will be held in London. More details can be found here: www.positivespeaking.net.

Iris Cai

Positive Speaking Iriscai@positivespeaking.net www.positivespeaking.net

7


CHINA: Facts and Figures Chinese Facts and Figures

GDP

10.4%

$7.298 Trillion

9.2%

9.2%

By Sector

Purchasing Power Parity

2009

$9.486 Trillion

2010

$10.48 Trillion

2011

$11.44 Trillion

2009 2010 2011 Real Growth Rate

Population

10.1%

Agriculture

43.1% 46.8%

Services Industry

Labour Force (15-64yrs) 1.0024 billion

1.3378 billion

2010

2011 1.3441 billion

4.1%

Urban unemployment rate

Exports

Main Export Commodities

2009 $1.581 trillion 2010 $1.904 trillion

17.1% U.S

Industry

2009 1.3314 billion

Services

Agriculture

36.7% 28.7% 34.6%

Electrical and Machinery Apparel and Textiles Iron and Steel Optical and Medical Equipment

14.1% Hong Kong

6.8%

0%

7.8% 4.4% Japan

South Korea

11.2% 9.3%

Main Import Commodities

4%

0%

Germany

Australia

5.3%

4.6%

2009 $1.327 trillion 2010 $1.743 trillion

Electrical and Machinery Oil and Mineral Fuels Metal Ores Optical and Medical Equipment Plastics and Organic Chemicals

Imports

Internet 2008

300 million

2009

385 million

Sources : CIA and The World Bank

2010 460 million


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A

s a model I appeared on the covers of over 350 magazines across the globe and over 200 TV shows. I was voted GQ Magazine’s Woman of the Year and Maxim’s International Woman of the Year for three years running. I had starred in my own documentary ‘Being Caprice’ and also received rave reviews in London’s West End playing the lead role in ‘The Vagina Monologues’ and the musical ‘Rent’. I also brought the rights to the hit production, ‘Debbie Does Dallas the musical’ which I produced and starred in. So how did I build my By Caprice empire? My first foray into business took place in 2000. I was at the height of my modelling career and decided to partner with Debenhams to create a line of underwear. Celebrity-license agreements are all of the rage now but back then they were very rare. I had little input into the range, Debenhams did everything, from designing to manufacturing and I just received a royalty. Seasonon-season I saw the weekly sales figures growing and growing. I studied what lines were selling, and what lines weren’t. That’s when I just knew I had to go it alone because they were making huge margins. In 2006, six years after my partnership, I bought back the license deal with Debenhams and invested £263,000 of my own money into my ‘By Caprice’ business. I’ll be honest, going from model to business woman has been challenging but I’m very driven and from an entrepreneurial background, it must be the American in me. I’ve had to learn a lot – the biggest thing has been how currency exchange rates work. I now look at rates

October 2012

Model Business: Caprice’s Story Caprice Bourret discusses her transition from international model to globally successful businesswomen

every day to see how our costs will be affected. To be honest, they are always up and down and I have to keep my eye on the ball. I attend two shows in Paris every year to find the latest designs, embroidery and mesh materials in order to get an idea about what’s

everyone in the supply chain to ensure the materials arrive on time. In the worst-case scenario the goods get flown directly in, but that’s the most expensive option. If it’s their mistake, they pay for it, but if it’s mine, I do. So I constantly have to make sure I’m on the case.

“I constantly have to make sure I’m on the case”

Global Goals: Caprice sets her sights high

out there. If some of these items are too expensive, I go to Hong Kong to show my suppliers the sort of materials I want. They then source the same items, but at a much cheaper price than if I was buying in Europe. To avoid delays, I have to push

Since I first started the business, a lot has changed. Before the recession, I had a middleman who sourced all the materials on my behalf. Now I do everything myself, which has not only saved me a lot of money but has made the process more efficient. First you have to develop the line, go to the factories, make sure the shipping is coming in on time, then you have to negotiate the margins, negotiate the shipping fees, and then when it gets here it’s all a new ball game. Then you have to get the stock out – I mean it’s not an easy business by any means.

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October 2012

didn’t really think about currency fluctuations. In mid-2008, I was buying stock for my business when you could get about $2 to the pound. The size of the order meant I was out of pocket by about £1.6m, just in currency terms, and that was just on exchange rates. I was buying products in the millions, so the losses were obviously huge.

Transition: From model to Businesswoman

Before the recession By Caprice experienced massive growth. I made 50-80% margins and was paying for my stock every two months. To the factory I was paying about £1.2m, now, if you add on 5080% mark up as my margin, add that on top of £1.2m, I was doing very well for a start-up business. When the recession hit in 2008 I

”nothing is too much and the Chinese have a lot of integrity” In 2012 my business priority is looking for new factories to produce my products. At the moment I use four factories in Hong Kong. The quality and service we receive is outstanding, we have a very good relationship with our factories,

nothing is too much and the Chinese have a lot of integrity. However, times are changing and labour costs are rising in China. I know a lot of businesses are moving from there to other countries. I’m therefore looking at using factories in Turkey instead. The labour costs are higher compared to China, but the manufacturing process is much shorter meaning overall costs are lower. The UK has been the prime focus up until now for By Caprice, but we do sell in four other countries at present. As the UK is my home market I am able to control the marketing side much more than I would internationally. Having said this, international growth is something that By Caprice is now ready to concentrate on and I am looking for international reps who will control the brand integrity for me.

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October 2012

What a difference

a summer can make By Marcus Leach

A

t the start of July the economy was stuttering, London’s banking district had been rocked by the Libor scandal and public sentiment was reaching rock-bottom. And then came the Olympics. Then came the Paralympics. Then came Jess Ennis, Mo Farah, Bradley Wiggins, Ellie Simmonds, Jamie Peacock, Sarah Storey and so many more inspirational athletes. An unprecedented rush of medals sparked a feel good factor that had been missing for too long from the shores of Great Britain. Their performances, coupled with the unquestionable overall success of both the Olympics and Paralympics, lifted the cloud of gloom that had hung over our heads, and shone fresh hope into the hearts of a proud nation. But they were not the only ones competing on a global scale; the Government was also seeking to use the Olympics to bring fresh business to the capital, a chance to rejuvenate belief and activity in the city. In fact, the success of the Olympics and Paralympics, in a business sense, was significantly more important than that of the athletes, at least in the eyes of the Deputy Mayor of London, Kit Malthouse. Not that Malthouse was steeling the limelight away from the incredible achievements of the athletes, far from it. Rather he saw that a successful Games, when the world’s eyes were firmly upon the country, represented an ideal opportunity to reestablish London and the UK as a major

Ringing Success: The Olympics helped to showcase London and the UK to the world

player on the global business scene. “The business legacy is bigger than the sporting legacy, or at least it must be in our eyes,” Malthouse explained to International Trade Today. “There were three areas of success, first of all the immediate economic benefit to the city from all of the people who came to attend the games, then there is the inward investment as a result of the Games, and finally the global attention on London.” If these were the three main areas that Malthouse saw as the measures of success for the Olympics and Paralympics, does he believe then that the Games were a success for London and the business world? “Yes, I think we can say that the Games were a huge success from a business point of view, without forgetting that

the same can be said from a sporting stance as well,” Malthouse said. “London is now back on the global map and much further up people’s agendas. Whilst the full impact will not be seen for some time to come, we have calculated that the Games will result in hundreds of millions of pounds of inward investment, if not more, maybe even billions. “The fact that we pulled off a stunning event; the city looked stunning and the Games themselves were outstanding, people looked again at a city that they might have had at the back of their minds at the start of the summer. London was presented to people in a very stimulating and exciting way, and has made a lot of people think again about London when they are thinking about global investment. The Olympics has shown the world that, when push comes to shove, we can put on world 12


October 2012

class events. I think that will give the nation huge confidence.

“London is now back on the global map and much further up people’s agendas.” “Throughout the Games we had waves of potential investors coming to London as part of our Olympic hosting programme; such as a technology wave, creative wave and financial services wave. Each of them came in for a two or three day programme, where they not only saw some sport but we were able to show them around the city, take them to some themed meetings and debates, and get them to meet some of the existing businesses here. We did a number of waves like that, and from our point of view they were very successful.” “There were a number of people who came in those waves who have already announced that they are going to do business. For example Silicon Valley Bank have announced that they are going to open in London. Amazon have opened a huge digital research facility in Farringdon. Then there are still people we are part way through a conversation with about coming to London.” As they say, ‘what goes up must come down’, and that is the fear; now that the Games are over it will only be a matter of time before the comedown begins. Such was the resounding success of both the Olympics and the Paralympics, such were the emotional highs experienced by the nation, that surely now must come the lull as we return to a sombre pre-Games state? Not in the eyes of Malthouse, who believes that we can continue the momentum so fantastically created. “We were worried about the hangover after the party,” admitted Malthouse, “so London & Partners, who are our inward investment agency and promotions agency, have been, and still are running promotional campaigns in key markets to ensure London is still there in the limelight. They are helping promote the message that the games are over but

Park Life: Stratford’s Olympic Park was the centre of an incredible summer of sport

London is still here and is a place where Britain can achieve.” The goal now is to you should still come and invest.” continue in this vein and ensure London, and Britain, remains a focal point in both Malthouse points to the regeneration of the sporting, and more importantly, the Stratford, and now that the Games have business world. finished that will continue as the business and sporting legacies created by the Games are cemented, and don’t just fall Marcus Leach is a business by the wayside as empty promises. journalist, having previously gained “The park itself is basically what we experience in both sports and travel hope will be a catalyst for the economic journalism. After three years living regeneration for that whole area,” he and writing about rugby in South said. “There is already a huge amount Africa he travelled through Africa and of housing going on. But there will also the Middle East before returning to be the commercial developments. London where he is Head of Editorial for Fresh Business Thinking and We obviously have Europe’s biggest International Trade. shopping centre, 8,000 jobs on its own. @marcusleach8 We have got the media centre, which is now under offer to iCity, who are looking at putting in a big data facility which will attract businesses around it. I think they are looking at 4,500 jobs alone there. The running of the sporting venues will be another 1500 jobs. The spill out from that will create more again, so it is a hugely important legacy to nurture.” As Boris Johnson said at the end of the ‘Our Greatest Team’ parade “you (the athletes) brought home the truth about us and about this country - that when we put our minds to it there is no limit to what 13


October 2012

China By Stephen Cole

U

nlike any other country, China holds so much opportunity for trade that there are few western business executives that have not at least thought about exploring its possibilities. It’s big and it’s growing, but it also has its own unique challenges beyond language alone. Of overriding importance is the need to understand that business in China is built upon building relationships. Unless you get to know the people you wish to trade with then few deals will be done. A short cut to creating the right relationships with the right people is to employ a ‘fixer’. Someone with the right connections will set up meetings and act as a guide to opening dialogue in the appropriate way. It saves time and money. When establishing the required social business bridges there are formalities that must be adhered to. Because China is a hierarchical society those with power and elders must be treated with due deference. There are also other deferential criteria that might be taken into account, such as Communist Party status, education, and business and social connections. These factors dovetail with the importance of ‘face’ or the maintenance of personal dignity. The loss of ‘face’ in private or public is a serious matter, and not to be taken lightly. Business meetings in China play a key role in initiating trade, but not in the same way as in the west. Do not expect to talk directly or in detail about business propositions from the start, if at all. Meetings are about getting to know people and swapping relevant background information. This can be frustrating for westerners, but there are no short cuts. And maintaining a dignified bearing at all times is a necessity. Although the Chinese have a great sense of humour, the business environment

Ancient Rules: Tradition and culture still play a big role in Chinese business

is not the place to start exploring it. It is important to be on time for appointments. And dress formally and as expensively as reasonably possible. Successful people in China look successful. To arrange meetings it is enormously helpful to appoint an intermediary. They will set up meetings and help cut through bureaucracy and assist with legal hurdles. At meetings they will also instruct on where to sit, and help with the dynamics of how meetings develop and the required follow up. The presentation and receipt of business cards is important and has precise requirements. They must be presented and received with both hands and studied with interest. In meeting situations place them in a row on a table as though highly important.  The cards should be ordered in seniority, with the most senior person’s card at the top. It also helps to have business cards printed in Mandarin on one side.

for this it is useful to build leeway into any proposition. But do not expect confrontational negotiation. Humility and deference are the watch words. Doing business in China is about patience and attention to detail. The Chinese research propositions, and then take their time to get to know the individuals involved. It pays huge dividends to emulate this behaviour, and if possible get expert support and advice.

Stephen Cole

Chairman of the Institute of Diplomacy and Business www.diplomacyandbusiness.com info@diplomacyandbusiness.com

Management structure and function is based on hierarchy, and although western influence is beginning to show there is little room for middle managers to interpret instructions. When it comes to negotiation, be prepared for bargaining. To account 14


October 2012

A Game of Risk

How international traders can win at foreign exchange By Rocco Magno

I

n the current climate the UK is continuing to look to exports to help lead the economic recovery. But how can you ensure that your international trading strategy is not exposing you to unnecessary risk and gambling with your future when making and receiving foreign payments? The international payments system is complex, carrying hidden risks and exposures. As soon as money crosses borders and changes currency, international money laundering regulations come into play and profitability is directly exposed to exchange rate fluctuations, which could ultimately affect your bottom line. Managing Exchange Rate Fluctuations Underpinning every international trade transaction is the flow of payments. Whilst this issue may not be at the forefront of your international growth strategy, it is essential to ensure you have a reliable payment solution in place. We have seen how reputations, expansion plans and hard-won commercial deals can be lost in the blink of an eye due to mismanagement of the risks inherent in international payments. Every cross-border payment is exposed to exchange rate fluctuation and you could try to eliminate this by negotiating all deals in a single currency such as Sterling or US dollars. Likewise foreign companies may try to insist that all invoices are in their home currency. In reality the home currency and overseas rates are in a constant state of flux, so what really happens is that risk is transferred from purchaser to supplier or vice versa.

While it might appear effective, this kind of risk transfer usually carries a hidden cost, which can translate directly into higher costs of goods and services. Selecting the right payments partner To help mitigate the risks and challenges your business faces, the banking and payments industry has developed many products, mechanisms and systems for foreign exchange and international payments. As a UK business, you are able to tap into this wealth of expertise to construct comprehensive international payments processes. With so many options and products available, you may find it difficult to choose the right partner. The process can be simplified by remembering that the international payment process essentially comprises two stages: The conversion of funds from one currency to another, followed by the transfer of those funds to the payee.

risk by fixing future costs. This gives you increased control over budgets and forecasts. Forward contracts mean payments can be made at pre-agreed rates regardless of the actual market rate when the payment is due to be made.

2) Focus on your objectives: Your goal is an efficient payment process that satisfies your contractual obligations while managing the exchange rate exposures related to the payment in hand. You are not looking to be a profit-making FX trader. Do not fall into the trap of chasing apparent FX savings without understanding the true transaction costs, including fees, processing time and the effort and risk involved in making your payment. 3) Use accurate systems: To make informed decisions you need access to accurate real time FX rates and the ability to buy currency quickly at the rate you are quoted. It also helps if you can automate your payment instructions, rather than entering them manually into the system which can lead to errors, wastes time and money for your business. Online tools can offer users detailed reporting and the ability to deploy automated solutions that can help to drive efficiency. 4) Bring in the specialists: Moving money across borders is complex, so find a partner with the expertise, capabilities, reach and reputation to meet your business needs. International payment specialists focus completely on the core business of foreign exchange, leaving businesses to concentrate on what they do best.

Rocco Magno

GM International Payments EMEA, American Express.

www.americanexpress.co.uk/foreignexchange

internationalpaymentsuk@aexp.com

By concentrating on these core principles and following the tips below, you can make the necessary decisions to select the right payments partner. 1) Think ahead: Probably the single most important piece of advice is to plan as far ahead as possible so you can effectively protect yourself against currency fluctuations. For example purchasing forward contracts is a simple way to provide protection against movements in currency exchange rates. Similar to a fixed rate mortgage, forward contracts enable you to lock in an exchange rate for a chosen period, therefore managing

15


October 2012

Don’t get Lost in Translation Opening the door to the world through linguistics

By Mario De Bortoli-Jones

T

he world wide web now connects around a third of the world’s population. Marshall McLuhan’s vision of a “global village” is fast becoming a reality, with user numbers soaring past the 2 billion milestone. This has opened up huge opportunities for companies marketing overseas. As Intel scientist Timothy May put it: “National borders aren’t even speed bumps on the information superhighway.” It’s certainly easier than ever to reach customers on the opposite side of the world. And with the economic slowdown in the United States and Europe, the idea of reaching out to emerging markets is an increasingly attractive one. The ubiquity of brands such as McDonald’s and Microsoft might give the impression of a

single global culture. But looking closer, this is still far from the case. National borders may no longer be barriers to web marketing, but there are still significant differences between countries, regions and cultures. The secret of many global brands’ success is their ability to adapt to different cultures. As it grows, the internet is becoming more multicultural and multilingual. While English was once its lingua franca, it is fast becoming a minority language. Chinese is expected to soon overtake it as the most widely spoken online language.

just 301 per cent growth for English. These trends are expected to continue. While China has the world’s largest online population, internet penetration is still relatively low in percentage terms. This is also true across much of the rest of Asia, Latin America and Africa. As broadband coverage improves, there is clearly a huge potential for growth. For businesses considering exporting, translation into other languages is becoming essential. Although English is widely spoken as a second language, people overwhelmingly prefer to browse – and buy goods - in their mother tongue. Research by the European Commission found that 82 per cent of respondents were reluctant to make a major purchase without information in their native language. The good news for companies is that it can be easier to achieve higher visibility with website translations. The explosion in the number of non-English-speaking users has not been matched by a similar increase in web content. The majority of content is still in English, meaning stiff competition to reach a dwindling share of users. Brands marketing in Chinese, Spanish or Russian can benefit from a less crowded marketplace.

Between 2000 and 2011, the number of online Arabic speakers rose by 2501 per cent, Russian speakers increased by 1826 per cent, and Chinese speakers increased by 1479 per cent, according to Internet World Stats. Other languages with high growth were Portuguese (990 per cent) and Of course, translation is only a starting Spanish (807 per cent). These compare to point. Localisation is the key to making a website or marketing materials resonate with consumers in another country. This involves everything from getting the dialect, currency, and domain name right, to specific cultural references and tailoring products to a local audience.

A quick glimpse at McDonald’s worldwide menus illustrates this: Hawaiian restaurants offer spam with rice, while Hong Kong diners can choose pork with teriyaki sauce. Nestlé sells soy sauce and miso-flavoured KitKats in Japan, while Oreo has developed green tea cookies for the Chinese market. Fashion websites targeting the Middle East swap pictures of bikini-clad models for more conservatively-dressed women in long skirts and headscarves. Marketing flops are often the result of failing to take culture into account. The cosmetics brand Avon struggled in Japan, because its door-to-door selling technique

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October 2012

was out of step with Japanese culture. Nescafe found it tough to enter the Italian market, since espresso drinkers regarded instant coffee with suspicion. It was only when they marketed the drink as the ideal accompaniment to the newly fashionable brunch that sales increased. It’s also important to get the brand name right. There are plenty of examples of names lost in translation, such as the Italian mineral water brand Traficante (which translates as “drug dealer” in Spanish). Ikea is known for its quirky and sometimes unpronounceable product names, including the unintentionally amusing Fartfull desk. It chose to avoid embarrassment when launching its Thai website earlier this year, hiring a team of translators to check 9000 product names. But many companies still neglect this part of market research. A study by Auckland University of Technology and Hong Kong Baptist University found that only 22 per cent of major foreign brands had optimised their names for the Chinese market. It judged the most successful ones to have adapted both the sound and meaning: for example Nike became Nai Ke, combining a similarsounding name with characters meaning “Endurance Conquer”. Web design can be

another neglected area. Sites don’t need a complete redesign for a foreign market, but it’s worth considering cultural preferences in terms of colour, images, and use of video.

certain countries. In China, the big two are still banned under censorship laws, while Qzone, Renren, and Tencent Weibo are wildly popular.

Slow dial-up connections are still the norm in many emerging markets, and Flashheavy sites might take too long to load. A rising proportion of users are also browsing on mobile phones, making a mobile-friendly site an essential tool for international companies.

As the world becomes more connected, foreign language web marketing is opening doors for businesses of all sizes. It can be an easy and cost-effective way to reach millions of potential customers overseas. But research and preparation are vital before taking the leap. A consideration of cultural and linguistic differences is often the key to building a successful global brand.

All these efforts will be in vain if users can’t find the site. Search engine optimisation (SEO) should be considered at an early stage. It’s best to research the most appropriate foreign keywords, since direct translations don’t always match what users actually search for. Search engine choices also varies between countries. In China, Baidu has the lion’s share of the market. It differs from Google in many ways, including a strong preference for locally-hosted, Chinese domain names.

Mario De Bortoli-Jones

Senior Account Director at Lingo24, www.lingo24.com mario@lingo24.com

Social media is also becoming a valuable tool for promoting sites. Facebook and Twitter dominate on a global scale (and are both available in multiple languages). But other networks are more popular in

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October 2012

Language: Mandarin Currency: Renminbi Time: GMT +8

Lighting The Way: Beijing is China’s political, cultural, and educational centre

To tip or not to tip? When eating out in China it’s generally not necessary to tip as most establishments will include the tip in the final bill. However, if you are going on guided tours then tipping is commonplace, as it is in major hotels.

What time do we eat?

As with Western culture the Chinese take breakfast, lunch and dinner. When factoring meals into your business trip it’s useful to note that lunch is taken around noon, with dinner usually between 5pm and 7pm. It is not unusual for the Chinese to have late snacks, and in fact in Beijing there are plenty of places to get snacks and street food, although the latter may not be to everybody’s liking.

Beijing Destination Guide of English woven into everyday society. Many signs of public convenience will appear in Chinese and English. Whilst many people in the tourism trade will speak English, do not expect that rule to apply throughout the city, and as such it is useful to have a few basic phrases to make life easier.

that reason the best way to travel around the city is on the Metro, especially when you consider that the Beijing Olympics saw a host of new lines, brand new trains and modern electronic ticket-reading gates.

The metro in Beijing serves both the urban and suburban districts and is famous for the sheer numbers of people it serves; on average over 7 million Beijing, once the city of bicycles, has people use it each day. A typical single Given the high number of Western rapidly converted to a city of taxis, which journey will cost in the region of RMB 2 tourists to Beijing there is a fair degree has lead to a lot of traffic congestion. For (20p), although the Airport Express will

Do you speak English?

Getting around:

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October 2012

Food and Drink: When visiting Beijing you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food. Due to the high number of Western tourists there are plenty of places to eat Western food, but we suggest you stay local and sample the many delights of Chinese food.

Food

Duck de Chine: For fans of roast duck this is the place to come. 1949 The Hidden City, Courtyard 4, Gongti Bei Lu, near Nansanlitun Lu 工体北路4号 院1949内, 近南三里屯路, +86 10 6501 8881

Tianaman Square: A must see on any trip to Beijing

cost you RMB 25 (around £2.60). The first trains begin at around 5am, and run all the way through to between 11pm and 12pm.

you are on a tight schedule the best bet is to organise a trip through a recognised tour company. If visiting in the summer months, and looking to walk a section of the wall, be sure to take suncream, If you prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle plenty of water and appropriate footwear. of the Metro, then the best way to get around the city is by taxi, all of which are Tiananmen Square: Not only the metered. Be warned that the roads will become very busy from around 7:30am world’s largest public square, but site until 10am, and then again from 3pm of some of the most powerful images until 7:30pm, so where possible, travel over recent years - the most notable outside of these times. It is useful to of these being the sole Chinese note that at the airport you should avoid man standing in the way of a line of taking taxis from drivers who approach advancing tanks, which has become an iconic image of the 20th century. you, head to the taxi rank instead. Given its history the square is still well monitored, so much so there is 24 hour CCTV. However, this should not deter Beijing, China’s capital and second you from a visit to this immense square. biggest city behind Shanghai, was the seat of the Ming and Qing dynasty Forbidden City: This is China’s emperors until the formation of a largest, and best preserved complex Republic in 1911. As such it is a city of ancient buildings, and justifiably rich in history and culture, and there are a UNESCO World Heritage site. No several ‘must see’ attractions. trip to Beijing, business or otherwise, Great Wall of China: If you only have would be complete without a visit here. time for one extra-curricular activity then You have the choice between a local make sure it is the Great Wall of China, guide or the automatically activated one of the Seven Wonders of the World. audio tours which operate in over 40 An immense structure that took over 100 languages. The Forbidden City, so years to build over two thousand years called because it was off-limits for 500 ago, the Great Wall is easily accessible years, offers a unique insight into the from Beijing and should not be missed. If the two main dynasties of imperial rule.

Away from work:

Lei Garden: This Hong Kong based brand is famous for its lunchtime dim sum. 3/F, Jinbao Tower, 89 Jinbao Jie, near Dongsinan Dajie 金宝街89号金宝 大厦3楼, 近东四南大街, +86 10 8522 1212 Mr Shi’s Dumplings: Home to some of the city’s best dumplings Mr Shi’s is simple yet authentic and highly satisfying. 74 Baochao Hutong, Gulou Dongdajie, near Nanluogu Xiang 鼓楼东 大街宝钞胡同74号, 近南锣鼓巷, +86 10 8405 0399

Drink

Amilal: A place where you can step back in time a little and enjoy a quiet drink, be it business or pleasure. Notable for its Scotch and wines. 48 Shoubi Hutong, Gulou Dong Dajie, Dongcheng district / Open 6pm-late daily / 8404-1416 / 东城 区鼓楼东大街寿比胡同48号 China Bar: For those who want the ‘wow’ factor with their drink this is the place. Set on the 65th floor enjoy your drink with a view. 65th Floor, Park Hyatt Beijing, 2 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang district /Open 5pm-1am daily / 8567 1234 / 北京柏悦酒店, 朝阳区建国 门外大街2号65层 East Shore Live Jazz Cafe: If you want something a little more lively at the end of the day then look no further than this vibrant joint. Second Floor, Building 2, Qianhai Nanyan, Dianmenwai Dajie Houhai Area / Open 2pm-late daily / 8403 2131 / 东岸咖啡, 西城区地安门外 大街前海 南沿2号楼2层 19


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October 2012

Travelling to

T

he Far East has always had a particular appeal to it, especially from a business sense, with China seen as a key destination given its economy. Known by it’s own people as ‘The Middle Kingdom’, China has grown into a world business superpower over recent years, attracting companies from throughout the world. Here we take a look at visa requirements for travelling to China on business, as well as an essential guide to all vaccinations that you may require so that your business trip runs smoothly and successfully.

Entry and Visa Requirements Passport validity 


You must hold a valid passport to enter China. Your passport must be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into China.



Registering with the authorities

Travelling to Hong Kong

You must register your place of residence with the local Public Security Bureau within 24 hours of arrival. Chinese authorities enforce this requirement with regular spot-checks of foreigners’ documentation. If you are staying in a hotel, registration is done on your behalf as part of the check-in process.

If you visit Hong Kong from the mainland of China and wish to return to the mainland, you will need a valid visa for the return journey, i.e. you will need to ensure your visa application shows that you will make two entries to the mainland.Vaccine recommendations are based on the best available risk information. Please note that the level of risk for vaccine-preventable diseases can change at any time.

Vaccination/Disease

Recommendation

Hepatitis A

Recommended for all unvaccinated people travelling to or working in countries with an intermediate or high level of hepatitis A virus infection where exposure might occur through food or water

Routine

Hepatitis B

Emergency Travel Documents 
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from China.

If you obtain your ETD in China, you will need to obtain an exit visa from the Public Security Bureau before you can travel out of China. This process can take up to five working days. The ETD can be used for a return journey providing you have evidence of residence within China to allow your return. If you require a record of your visa, you should take a photocopy as your ETD may be retained by UK Border Agency on arrival in the UK.



Typhoid Polio

Japanese encephalitis

Rabies

Recommended if you are not up-todate with routine shots

Recommended for all unvaccinated persons traveling to or working in countries with intermediate to high levels of endemic HBV transmission

Recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in East Asia

Recommended for adult travelers who have received a primary series with either inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) or oral polio vaccine (OPV). They should receive another dose of IPV before departure Recommended if you plan to visit rural farming areas and under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis

Recommended for travelers spending a lot of time outdoors, especially in rural areas

Source: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

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October 2012

Using for International Success By Francesca James

S

ocial networking sites have revolutionised the way we interact in both personal and professional capacities. Social Media provides a great opportunity for businesses because for little or no cost, a company can engage with existing and potential customers regardless of geographical location. Social media transcends the limitations of previous offline marketing efforts including TV & radio because it can reach just about anyone, just about anywhere. In October 2011, it was reported that social networking sites reached 82% of the global internet population and accounted for nearly one in every five minutes spent online. There are now hundreds upon hundreds of social networking sites, some incredibly niche, others huge, some which revolve around images, some video & some text. You won’t have heard of all of these social networks (familiar with Dogster? The pet lovers platform? Didn’t think so!) But I’m willing to bet that you’ve heard plenty about Facebook, Twitter & of LinkedIn. Of these ‘big 3’, LinkedIn is the network most commonly associated with professional networking. LinkedIn currently operates the world’s largest online professional network in over 200 countries & territories and earlier this year, the network reported that professionals are signing up to join at a staggering rate of approximately two new members per second.

But what does this mean for businesses who want to market internationally? LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media platforms for international business. If we take a look at its worldwide membership it’s easy to see why. If we just focus on the BRIC region, a label that refers to four large developing countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), we’re already talking about close to 35million members – and that doesn’t even include China because of its strict censorship rules (although there are rumours that LinkedIn is planning to make a move in the Chinese market soon). The BRIC region is home to 42% of the world’s population, representing significant potential export & new business opportunities for SME’s. Looking beyond the BRIC region, there are another 140 million members who have joined Linkedin with a view to networking in some professional capacity – some of them perhaps looking for a product or solution that your business provides.

‘In many cultures doing business is not simply about matching product or service with an acceptable price’ We caught up with Ian Moyse of Workbooks.com, a long-time user of

Social Media: A Poewrful Networking Tool

LinkedIn with over 24,000 connections. He runs many groups on LinkedIn, one with over 15,000 members. When asked about the potential of LinkedIn as a tool for international trade, he said ‘Linkedin gives you a voice across regions at low cost and is a primary way to make business connections and expand your international network. Being found through the validity of your profile, postings and online reputation can bring you a variety of business opportunities.’ In order to achieve success internationally, Ian says ‘you need to get involved, create a group of interest to your desired audience and contribute to it with informative and useful content on a regular basis. As people join and start to engage you will find it takes a life of its own and your credibility and connections in the target sector will grow’. Through doing so Ian says he has ‘made invaluable contacts and business internationally through linked in and can attribute closed business to it. It is key though 22


October 2012

to engage and understand it takes consistent effort. To a degree it is build it and they will come, but you have to work to build it right.’ However, despite the potential it might offer, there are some fundamental flaws to using Linkedin to attract new business from overseas. Nick Rines, Chief Executive Officer at the Institute of Diplomacy & Business says that he is ‘quite sceptical about LinkedIn’s value in generating international trade opportunities’, especially ‘outside of western trading areas’. Nick says that ‘aside from the obvious problem that any claims about status and influence are completely unsubstantiated, fundamental problems arise in the business cultures of some countries’. Expanding on this, Nick says that ‘in the biggest markets outside the West companies do not operate flat management structures. This will usually present  a problem  of not being able to accurately identify role and status’. He says that ‘just as important, it is sometimes a matter of understanding the hierarchy system of a particular company’. For example, in Brazil, ‘politics, friendships and family can mean that someone who appears to be quite senior may in fact have limited influence. In the Middle East most companies are family run and someone quite junior may be directly related to the most senior executive’. Nick says that there are also other concerns to think about when attempting to grow your international business prospects via LinkedIn. He says that ‘in many cultures doing business is not simply about matching product or service with an acceptable price’. Often introductions have to be made in the right way, and it can

be important to get to know people before doing business. Nick says that ‘in these circumstances LinkedIn is a very blunt instrument that is liable to generate contacts that waste time and money’. Nick believes that if international

LinkedIn Members

Ernesto Belisario What: “Italian Lawyer Generates Business Through his International LinkedIn Network” Who: Ernesto Belisario, founder Studio Legale Belisario Where: Rome, Italy Used Linkedin to: Build his legal practice by exploring new international connections How: Seventy percent of the international connections Ernesto has made through LinkedIn have turned into clients, including business from Brazil, Germany and the US.

markets are worth pursuing they are worth pursuing properly, and that does not include picking up contacts from unqualified Internet sources. However, despite these uncertainties, there are numerous success stories of small businesses winning international contracts and developing cross country professional partnerships via LinkedIn. Here are just a couple of the amazing successes LinkedIn members have had using the site:Whether or not LinkedIn will help your business gain international success is dependent on so many factors. However, with a well thought out, up to date profile that is optimised using keywords, professionals are able to build up an international network, which can lead to long lasting and gratifying business relationships. LinkedIn certainly has the potential to become a powerful business tool, opening doors to valuable new contacts, both locally and those based further a-field.

Francesca James

is a journalist and blogger specialising in social media and technology for business.

Chew Lip Heng

@francescaajames

What: “Invited to participate in offline opportunities overseas, through contacts made via Linkedin Groups” Who: Chew Lip Heng, Director at atomzi!pte.ltd. and carbon interactive pte. ltd. Where: Singapore Used LinkedIn to: Establish several groups, as convenient platforms for like-minded individuals to connect and network over shared interests which may not have other platforms for discussion 23


TOP 5

October 2012

Tension

Exercises for The Business

Traveller

apart. That is one repetition – complete this exercise for 20-90 seconds, depending on fitness levels. Rest for 90 seconds and repeat for two to three sets, depending on fitness levels.

Exercise two:

Split stance lunge to twist – this is great for keeping the body flexible and reducing back problems. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, arms out to the side parallel to the floor. Take a step forward, about a foot, with your left leg, pull your belly button in and keep your head up, eyes looking forward. Slowly lower yourself straight down to a position where the knees exercise for creating and maintaing are bent at 90 degrees with the back By Matt Leach flexibility in the hips, through the spine knee just off the floor and the front knee and reducing the postural imbalances behind the toes. When travelling on business, as I created in the board room. often have to do myself, many people ask me as an ex-personal trainer and Start off in a standing position, feet someone who’s still keenly active in the shoulder width apart with your arms gym and sporting roles – what should stretched out horizontally in front of you I do if there is no gym and I need to and your eyes focused straight ahead, keep active? There are many answers with your stomach pulled in. to this, but my favourite is to share From this position, sit down and back as some basic stretching and exercises though sitting into a chair going as low with them to keep the blood moving as you can, keeping your eyes facing and take the office tension away. forwards and head up, then stand back up, pressing your heals into the floor. Here is a sample of some of the tips and exercises I use myself to ease the tensions Upon standing up straight, raise up onto of business travel, reduce stress levels your tip toes reaching towards the sky and stay focused whilst on the road. with your arms stretching above your head, extend the whole body from toes to finger tips above your head. Return to a The squat to standing position with arms horizontally toe raise over head – this is a nice in front of you and feet shoulder width

Exercise one:

Raise yourself back to a standing position pushing the feet through the floor, keeping the feet split, rotate the whole upper body to the left return to facing forwards, lower again, raise and twist to the right side – complete for 20 – 40 seconds, then change the front leg 24


October 2012

and repeat for 20 – 40 seconds again depending on fitness levels. Rest for 90 seconds and repeat for two to three sets, depending on fitness levels.

Exercise three:

sitting to much. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms extended in front of you horizontally with your palms facing each other, hands together. Inhale deeply expanding your chest, then as you exhale extend your arms out to the sides, rotating your palms to face the ceiling expanding the chest and reaching out as far to each side as possible, whilst squeezing your shoulders blades together.

The Press Up – a classic exercise for stretching and strengthening the upper body, chest and arms. Place hands shoulder width apart and pull your belly button in eyes fixed down towards the floor – keep a straight back (shoulders, hips, knees Bring the arms back together in front and ankles in a straight line). of the body with the palms together; this is one repetition, Repeat for 30 – 90 seconds. For added balance coordinator, perform this exercise on one leg. Rest for 90 seconds and repeat for two to three sets, depending on fitness levels.

Exercise five:

The Lying Cobra – this is a fantastic exercise for strengthening the lower back and Lower your chest towards the floor, reducing a rounded posture from keeping your body straight and eyes on travelling, board room meetings and the floor, stop at the point your elbows sitting at your desk to much. reach a 90-degree angle. Lay face down with the eyes looking Press back up pushing the hands at the floor and your arms flat by your through the floor until your arms are sides, palms facing up to the ceiling. locked out – repeat for 20 – 90 seconds depending on fitness levels. Rest for Raise your chest off the floor squeezing 90 seconds and repeat for two to three the muscles across the lower back, as you raise the chest rotate the palms to sets, depending on fitness levels. face the floor, squeezing the shoulder blades down and back – hold this Exercise four: The Fly Away position for 5 – 45 seconds, lower and - this is a great dynamic stretch that will rest for 10 – 30 seconds, repeat 2-8times expand the chest area and decrease depending on fitness levels. the chances of postural imbalance from

This is just a small sample of what can be done to specifically reduce and combat the effects of business travel, as well as the amount of time spent in meetings at the board room, whilst reducing stress and helping create more energy in the body.

Matt Leach is an ex-personal

trainer who now specialises in team building, networking and motivational speaking, having build a business that spans more than 9 countries around the world – for more information on how he can provide a solution to your business problems, speaking at your event or just offering consultation advise Please contact him on: matt@absentmanagement.com

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