Saturday, June 29, 2013

Doing Business in America

Working in MENA one tends to deal with international companies in general. Companies that have staff familiar with the region. So relocating to the USA and attempting to start an "aviation related" business is a totally different experience. For starters, the majority of the aviation related small and medium enterprises (SME) are oblivious to an international market and are not interested in one. Fair enough, the USA is a huge market, who needs the rest of the world. That in itself is not a problem.

Being new in the region I relied extensively on LinkedIn to develop contacts and leads and to look at potential jobs. The majority of SMEs would not even acknowledge an email, a few would answer in a few weeks and a small number would respond within forty eight hours. 

The most popular response is; we are growing the business and we have no openings or projects at this time however we have a finder fee policy for any business you may bring. I understand times are tough and the market is stagnant but to be unwilling to explore opportunities and open a dialog on how to grow the business is beyond me. How can anyone grow a business without communicating, without telling the market place what are they doing and where they want to go? 

There is nothing wrong with finder fees; but to recommend and refer a business lead, one needs to understand that business and what differentiates it from the others. These businesses need to explore what adds value to their product and how to improve it. This requires communication, a commodity that seems to be in short supply in the aviation SME community. It appears no one is willing to invest time in growing their business.

These are first impressions and as I gain experience things may look different. 

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