New Articles

Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone: What Does It Take?

comfort zone

Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone: What Does It Take?

Getting out of your comfort zone is the initial step towards achieving greatness. But because of the many fears that become ingrained in us as we grow up, trying out new challenges is never an easy thing to do. 

Read and consult widely

We tend to stick to our comfort zones because we fear the unknown. If you read about the unknown and consult the people who have been through what you consider “unknown,” then you will easily step out of your comfort zone. Read as many books as you can find, browse through the internet, and talk to as many experienced people as possible in order to have all the necessary information about whatever you fear to do. 

Let’s say you dream of traveling abroad to advance your studies but you are afraid of the new culture, language, and people that you’ll meet in the foreign land. If you read about the cultural differences between your home nation and your to-be host country, you will be less skeptical about studying abroad. As the saying goes, knowledge is power!

Come up with a solid exit plan

You will only exit your comfort zone by confronting the things that hold you back; you must push your limits and try new challenges. A solid exit plan will help you with that. Top on your plan should be a list of your fears and how to confront them. The plan should also include a step-by-step guide on how you will be confronting each of the specified challenges. 

While at it, be sure to set achievable targets for specified timeframes, no matter how small they may seem. 

Maybe your main fear is meeting new people. Maybe you are never sure of what to do or how to act in social situations. Or maybe you are frightened by the thought of standing up for yourself in public. Finding out why these fears cloud your social life is an important step in creating an exit plan. Could it be that you don’t trust the sound of your voice? If yes, plan on how to make your voice better. Are you afraid that your looks or persona are unlikeable? Fine! Plan a facial, body, and/or wardrobe makeover. Also, you can hire a professional life coach to help you get your persona in line. 

Bottom line: Have a clear-cut plan of overcoming every trap that ties you down to your comfort zone.

Attach value to your discomforts

What do you stand to achieve if you embrace your discomforts? Assuming that you feel uncomfortable when speaking to rich and successful people, think of the great value you would gain both in your financial and professional life by stepping into the uncomfortable zone. If you run a successful business in your home country but you are afraid of expanding your startup in China, take a moment to imagine how much you stand to gain by overcoming those fears. Once you attach some value to every discomfort, your fighting spirit is renewed. While at it, try to get comfortable with one discomfort after the other so that in the long run, you will have the courage to claim the optimal value of your discomfort zone. 

See your failure as learning experiences

One of the factors that have been confining you to your comfort zone must be the fear of failure. Maybe you tried to expand your business to international markets and failed, so you decided to operate within the local market- where you are comfortable. That was the wrong decision. If you want to step out of your comfort zone, you need to start treating past failures as learning points. Instead of cultivating discomfort from the failure, cultivate positive energy. Write down everything that went wrong, find solutions and soldier on to another international business adventure. If you need help, you can hire the services of an experienced life coach who can provide guidance for reaching your goals, make sure the life coach has a diploma or has attained a life coaching course.

Adjust your routine in a meaningful way

Even though routines make you efficient in whatever you do, they are the largest contributors of the development of comfort zones. The best way to tear down routines is to switch up your timetable in a calculated, meaningful way. You will need to be patient, though, as this will take time. 

You can start by adjusting your morning alarm time, changing your route to work, getting rid of a few friends, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and adjusting your meal or sleeping time. These changes are seemingly inconsequential but they can have massive positive impacts in your professional and personal life. 

______________________________________________________________

George Foster is a marketing manager at Day Translations.

united states

Doing Business in the United States: Challenges and Experiences of European Companies

European companies open branches in the United States for a host of reasons. For starters, the United States gives these businesses a completely new base of customers; a chance to step out from the almost saturated European market and stand out from the crowd. Secondly, there are many government incentives in the U.S., making the business environment incredibly favorable. Last but not least, it gives them more brand recognition and a chance to reinvent their products in a hungry, welcoming market. 

Starting a business or moving an existing business from Europe to the U.S. can, indeed, be an exciting time for an entrepreneur. However, that is not to mean that aren’t any thorny experiences and business-threatening challenges to contend with while there. Nevertheless, before commencing your business transition to the USA, you must be sure to acquire the necessary visa, so that you do not do anything illegally which might cause problems later on. 

Apart from the UK-based businesses, those coming from other parts of Europe may have to hire a translation company to translate their content for localization purposes. That would mean higher initial and overall running costs. Besides that, here are some of the other challenges and experiences that European companies encounter when doing business in the United States:

Strong multicultural influence

The U.S. is a country founded on the pillar of unity in diversity; there are too many ethnic groupings in the country, each with their own unique culture and needs, yet they all expect outsiders to see them as one inseparable people. The multiculturalism in this country is on another level; you will have to contend with it in government offices and in the business setup. 

How you handle the employees is also affected by this cultural influence as there are some historical injustices that plague the labor market up to today. That is not particularly the case in Europe as most countries in the region have a homogenous culture. Your success or failure might be tied on this seemingly inconsequential factor.

Complexity in the taxing system

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)- revenue service of the United States federal government- is very strict with its enforcement of the federal taxes, sometimes to the point of scaring off investors who come from jurisdictions with lenient tax laws. And as if that is not enough, you will also have to deal with tax collection authorities both at the state and local levels. 

Even though the government is in the process of lowering the transition tax to about 8-15% and the corporate tax from 35% to 21%, there still are some vital teething issues that would demand a skeptical approach to America’s taxation framework.

The financial sector’s influence

Wall Street, arguably the most influential financial sector in the world, is keener on short-term profits and high stock values and not the traditional long-term value opportunities. The hedge funds and investment firms on Wall Street have become so powerful that without their blessings, you may be forced to sacrifice your brand’s reputation just to impress them.

High competition from multinational corporations

America is home to some of the biggest multinational corporations. While you will greatly benefit from their existence in terms of benchmarking on their success, sometimes the competition they bring forth can be unbeatable. To make matters worse, these corporations have political connections and friends in the highest places in the demand and supply chain, so they often get the lion’s share of government incentives.

Most multinationals have their planning and thinking inclined to global markets which, apparently, greatly affect the nation’s job market. They will hire the best talents in the country and proceed to outsource and offshore manufacturing jobs to other countries overseas. That means that they will enjoy both the benefits of hiring cheap outsourced labor and highly-qualified American professionals. Also, competing with a country that outsources cheap manufacturing services can be a daunting task. 

Complicated electricity and construction rules

If you wish to acquire property in the U.S., probably your main offices, you will have to pass through more than 10 bureaucratic steps before you get the legal permits to register it under your company name. Environmental inspections and reviews, for example, can take weeks if not months. In big cities such as Los Angeles and New York, you may have to wait for more than 2 months to have your electricity turned on. And if you need additional constructions in the property, that can cost you anywhere between 3,000 to 6,000 USD $ in terms of building plan check and permit.

______________________________________________________________

George Foster is a marketing manager at Day Translations.

China market

Success in China: Market Opportunities & How to Get Started

Are you an ambitious entrepreneur from the west seeking to expand to China? Or are you interested in opening a new business in China? If yes, this article is for you. We will explain the 5 most viable business openings in China today and the 5 most reliable tips on how to get started in this highly-competitive market. Please be our guest.

Which Viable Market Opportunities Can You Pursue in China?

As the affluent middle class continues to expand in China, solid economic transformations in the country are being realized day by day. The biggest beneficiaries of these transformations are multinational companies who have set up or are planning to open a shop in China. There are now bigger and better market opportunities to pursue, more advanced industries to invest in, and more tech-intensive manufacturing opportunities to consider. As a matter of fact, China now boasts of a 50% bigger manufacturing economy as compared to the USA.

If you are looking to tap into the continued increase in high value-added production, increased globalization of the service sector, as well as the increased outbound investment in China, these 5 market opportunities would be lucrative enough for you:

Healthcare

Rising wealth often comes with an increase in lifestyle diseases. An increase in manufacturing, on the other hand, brings forth many environmental concerns. These two factors have made the healthcare industry very lucrative in China. You will create a reliable cash cow if you could invest in a business that deals with herbal supplements or small health products- or a mainstream pharmaceutical company, so to speak. Also, the use of skincare products is on the rise in China. It’s best to set up a wholly foreign-owned enterprise for such operations.

Import and export trade

China is currently the largest exporter of tech goods and importer of processed foods globally. That means you can build a profitable importing and exporting business here in a heartbeat. 

Supplementary education

Many middle-class Chinese are keen on improving their English and expanding their knowledge of different aspects of business and politics. If you can offer them after-school private tutoring services, you will be making impressive annual returns on a consistent basis. Moreover, online tutorage is on the rise in China, which enables you to tutor more people in a more cost-effective way.

Food production

This goes without saying: Everyone needs food, everyone loves good food. And now that the middle-class in China is welcoming new entrants in huge numbers, there is a significant supply gap within this class for as long as the food is concerned. A rise in class obviously comes with a change in lifestyle, and food is at the center of every lifestyle. 

Mobile phones and accessories

The whole world has in the recent past turned to China for all its tech needs. The nation is the largest producer and importer of affordable mobile phones and accessories, meaning that a business in this industry would be extremely profitable.

What kind of structure to choose when expanding to China

IF you are considering expanding your business to China, establishing the right business structure is crucial. There are several types of business structures:

-Representative Office – allows foreign companies to open their offices in China and hire staff under their own legal entity. However, the offices are not allowed to perform any business, rather it is done by the parent company which is abroad. 

-Sales Office- this business structure enables foreign businesses to rent an office with a Chinese address for conducting business, without the necessity to establish a separate legal entity. All the activities and costs incurred in this office, are paid by the parent company.

-Foreign Invested Partnership- For this business entity, there is no need for minimum capital requirements. Depending on agreements, two or more investors can be joined and form this type of structure. 

-Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise- Through a wholly foreign-owned enterprise, two or more foreign partners can come together and establish the company which has the same liability as domestic companies. Moreover, it provides the owner with autonomous control and ownership. 

How to Get Started In China

As lucrative as China could be, many investors from the west talk about it with fear. Some of these foreign entrants tried and failed, or struggled to find their footing in this Asian economic giant. But what would render you unable to compete and survive here? For starters, the business environment here is too unforgiving and the competition too stiff for the faint-hearted. Also, cases of language barriers, cultural differences, and bureaucratic government regulations have led to the peril of many. 

In the middle of all these, how do you defy the odds and succeed in China? Here are 5 actionable tips on how to get started in China:

Don’t just translate your content for China; ensure that everything about your business is localized for China. 

It is important to understand and comply with all business regulations in China. The hiring process can be tricky to a new entrant, which necessitates the services of a Chinese recruitment agency. Such an agency will help you with all employment laws, privileges, and remuneration. 

Ensure that you understand and respect the cultural differences that exist between the west and the east. 

Never underestimate the power of customer opinion in China. Let the customer tell what their experience with your product is, respect their opinion, learn from your mistakes, and ensure that you find lasting solutions to all their concerns. 

As much as possible, try to work with a local partner in order to benefit from the many favors local entrepreneurs get from the government.