Doing Business In Colombia

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Top Ten Tips

1. Research and plan early

Is there a market there for you? Is your competitive edge in the UK transferable to Colombia? Desk research via the internet, suppliers, customers, trade associations, trade journal editors and exhibition organisers can be free of charge.

2. Seek out sources of advice and expertise early

This should save you time and money on wasteful activity and help to mitigate risk.

3. Get in touch with a global support network through UK Trade & Investment

Find your local International Trade Adviser and overseas-based Trade Officer by going to www.ukti.gov.uk and selecting "Find your local trade team".

4. Consider your pricing strategy

Pricing must be competitive - US dollar or Colombian peso pricing is the norm.

5. Think about language implications

Make the effort to produce brochures in Spanish - it makes a difference. Also think about translation of parts of your website.

6. Think about cultural implications

Make sure that your business cards are up to date and any titles are included - Colombians place a lot of importance on titles and good quality business cards.

Take business suits - Colombians in the major business cities generally wear formal suits to all meetings.

Try to visit Colombians at their offices, rather than invite them to your hotel.

7. Think about your strategy

It is usually best to have a local partner or local presence. Think about your strategy - can your business model support margin reduction or transfer of intellectual property?

8. Arrange a programme of visits in the market

If you are new to business in Colombia, it is strongly advisable to arrange a programme of meetings through the local UK Trade & Investment office or other local contacts prior to travel. In planning your itinerary, allow time at the end of your stay in Colombia to pay a second visit to those potential clients who have asked you to come back and see them again.

Be prepared to socialise and do working lunches. Do not over-cram your time with meetings.

Allow plenty of time between meetings, as the larger cities can get very congested with traffic.

9. Take part in a guided market visit

To take advantage of travel grants, local contacts, experienced mission leaders and business networking, why not consider joining a group-guided and supported market visit with UK Trade & Investment? More details are available at: www.ukti.gov.uk.

10. Follow up

Don't forget to follow up and don't let the contacts go cold.

Stay in touch with your Colombian contact/partner: don't let relationships drift and make sure that you visit the market regularly.

 

Source - UKTI

 

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