How to ensure you succeed as an entrepreneur in the Middle East?

How to ensure you succeed as an entrepreneur in the Middle East?

24 Feb 2020

Success is something that every entrepreneur craves for. While there is no magical key to success, there are definitely a few things that one can do to ensure that they stay on the right path to meet success. Hurdles are manifold for entrepreneurs – be it in the subjective sense or objective sense but the truth is that all entrepreneurs need to ensure that they are ready to conquer them. The Middle East is no different in terms of being an entrepreneur. The global business landscape has grown and expanded and give opportunities to everyone who wishes to invest into the burgeoning with prospects. Every new region comes with its own set of business rules, user patterns and culture differences that need to be understood and respected if one wants to succeed.

The Middle East has its own set of rules that need to be followed in order to ensure that your entrepreneurship venture meets success.

Be present in person

Middle East investors, vendors and business partners give a lot of importance to face to face meetings. This is embedded in their culture and their belief that trust and friendship need to be developed in business also. Face to face meetings and phone calls are preferred over digital communications or any other form of indirect communication. If you are trying to sign a new partner or vendor, it is best to have an in-person meeting instead of trying to negotiate over a phone or through liaisons. Even when communicating over email, phone calls are mandatory follow-up methods that need to be adhered to. This is best way to build rapport with your partners and vendors.

Respect the local culture

Understanding and respecting the local culture is a mandatory requirement of doing business in the Middle East. The country also has a culture of listening so it would be bests to listen to you partners and clients and understand where they are coming from before imposing your ideas on them. Personal relationships are as important to them as professional relationships and you are more likely to be more successful is you invest the time into creating friendships and not just worry about ROI. If you can demonstrate your respect for their culture and gain their trust with your work and personal attention, then you be better poised to succeed in a region that is quite emotionally driven even doing business.

Partner with local businesses

Hiring local talent is a good idea is you are moving into a region where you might not be aware of the language or the culture. Middle East is especially sensitive to this. This would also be a strategic move as getting a committed local partner at the onset might also help bring in better investments. The partner can also serve as bridge between you and the local officials if you are unaware of the local language and rules.

Innovating for the local market

The products or services that you introduce have to be innovative and creative to the region. All countries have their own local buying patterns and consumer behaviour so its important that your innovation matches these expectations. Direct copies of international models will not take you very far if you are not innovating for the local market. While the customers in the Middle East are mature, they still do not have many local innovations, especially in the technology space but are open to adoption. There has been incredible growth in certain digital services since their introduction owing to the quick reaction from the customers as its matched their local needs. So being innovative in the local sense is extremely important while doing business in the Middle East.

New markets can be intimidating but along with that they also offer fresh opportunities that will help in growing your business from just an idea. The Middle East is opening its doors to new ideas, investments and entrepreneurs from around the world and this is definitely the best time to consider entering the Middle East market.

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