Does Your Startup Need an International Relations Professional?

Does Your Startup Need an International Relations Professional?

For business startups wading into the deep waters of global commerce, an international relations professional can help an entrepreneur navigate the inevitable uncertainties that are bound to arise. Doing business in a new country comes with a litany of issues, including roadblocks related to language, culture, logistics, geography, governmental protocol and infrastructure.

International relations professionals can act as a guide, a liaison and trailblazer for business startups looking to expand overseas. Your international relations professional will represent your company the way a liaison such as Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba represents his nation.

An international relations professional can help a business startup.


For technology startups, the infrastructure situation in the host nation has a large impact on the success or failure of the business. Many nations have dilapidated, unreliable infrastructures that may be under the control of an unpredictable, state-run agency.

An international relations professional will have intimate knowledge of the situation regarding electrical grids, telephone lines, Internet and other crucial platforms in the host country.


One of the most important aspects of international business is relating to the human beings that live in the host nation. Cultural nuances, etiquette, manners, norms, gender roles and expectations are absolutely crucial to international success. Perceived insults or unintentionally rude gestures or demeanor can tarnish an entrepreneur’s reputation and make him or her appear amateurish and not ready for the big leagues of global enterprise.

An international relations professional will advise a business owner not only on what to say and do, but perhaps more importantly, what not to say or do when meeting with a new client, customer or partner.

Laws and Regulations

Laws, regulations and customs regarding international trade – specifically when physical, tangible goods are involved – are complicated and in constant flux. Although international relations professionals are not legal or trade experts, they are intimately acquainted with the nature of specific countries’ friendliness toward foreign business. It is in this area that international relations professionals can be an incredible asset when scouting prospective host countries.

Tech startups with an international presence can benefit from an international relations professional.

For business startups going global – whether they’re technology startups, import/export firms or even recruiters – international relations professionals can be an extraordinary asset in both deciding which country to expand to, and how to make the most of it once you set up operations there. The intricacies of a foreign country’s infrastructure, cultural nuances and regulatory system are all too complicated to learn sufficiently from academic pursuits or reading alone. An international relations professional can be the liaison between your business and success in a new country.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about global commerce and international business.

Join London Fintech Startup Workshop #TMUFintech @KweekWeek, Unit 2, Waterside, 44-48 Wharf Road, London, N1 7UX , United Kingdom, Thursday, 27 March 2014 from 18:00 to 21:00 (GMT)


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