Clare Goldsberry is to be commended for her Aug. 28, Page 12 column headlined ``Xenophobia can kill your business.'' It reminds everyone - regardless of what business they might be in - that today's economy involves competition on a global, not domestic level.
Engaging in commerce with international firms, whether they be located abroad or operating in this country, is an advantage to U.S. companies.
I don't deny that doing business with a non-U.S. company can be initially challenging and frustrating. You may encounter difficulties in dealing with language and cultural barriers. You may also be surprised to discover in some instances that the international businesspeople you deal with have quite an extensive command of English, therefore pacifying the language problems between both parties.
When someone comes to your country and asks to do business with you, they are showing great interest and already have made an effort to reach out. It only makes sense for U.S. companies to treat international prospects with respect and understanding, just as you would with your own countryman's company.
Furthermore, making an effort to learn their language and compromising in your business affairs can carry you a long way. The rewards can be endless if you strike a deal.
You not only gain another customer that could lead to a profitable, long-term relationship, but you help provide jobs for the American people. You also set an example for other companies to follow suit. Moreover, you are in the vanguard of an exciting global economy that offers ample business opportunities.
I can attest to this because my company, Hobson Bros. Mould Works Inc. in Iowa, years ago started to build blow molds for a Mexican firm. We followed that with business from Korean, Belgian, Brazilian, Japanese, Canadian and French firms.
Hobson Bros. now receives requests from other Asian and European companies that rely on us to build their molds. Our international sales currently make up about 15 percent of our $8.5 million business. Not bad for a firm that didn't have any prior international experience.
Vo is marketing directer of Hobson Bros. Mould Works Inc. of Shell Rock, Iowa.