Developing International Markets: Shaping Your Global Presence

Developing International Markets: Shaping Your Global Presence

Karr, Frederic H


by Gerhard W. Kautz (The Oasis Press/PSI Research, Inc., 1998, 201 pages, $19.95)

“… [A] tee-shirt with an American flag on it could possibly not be a best-seller in Iran.” This wry tidbit of humor is one of several that punctuate Developing International Markets: Shaping Your Global Presence by Gerhard Kautz.

Markets’ Preface explains that “[t]he book is aimed at small to medium-sized companies that … are considering entering the international market.” Obviously, then, the book is handy for those Commercial Law League members eyeing foreign venues. Since the intricacies of international finance are foreign (no pun intended) to most American small-business persons, then Markets is indeed useful.

Markets uses a seven-step approach, with each step (actually, a “Part” of the book) comprising several chapters. This text is well written. Following many of the subsections to each chapter, Mr. Kautz uses an illustrative hypothetical.

Many of these hypotheticals use the fictional company AHSI (American Heating Systems, Inc.). However, other of the hypotheticals either are just general statements, using no particular company, or involve the author’s own experiences in the realm of international marketing. (Since Mr. Kautz was heavily involved in international marketing for many years, he is indeed well qualified to author such a text.)

One of the two Appendices is “Information About 120 Countries,” including the United States. Useful to the small-business person are, for all the countries listed, GDP (gross domestic product), currency, exports and imports, the necessity for a local agent (the entirety of Step 5 is “Selecting a Marketing Agent”), local holidays, and the necessary travel documents. The second Appendix is a much smaller “Marketing Trip Checklist,” while the Glossary is a useful compilation of “International Marketing Terms.”

For any foreign country, the author emphasizes that the entrepreneur should be aware of all facets of the local scene. This gamut includes (but is not limited to) religion, climate, import restrictions, the inflation rate-and even fads! Mr. Kautz emphasizes that just about all of these particulars differ from their respective counterparts in the United States.

As mentioned before, gems of sardonic humor dot the text. Thus, in discussing the perils of foreign cuisine, the author notes (thankfully), “… drug stores in most countries carry some form of diarrhea relief. It is a big seller around the world.”

“Don’t judge them by their English, however; just remind yourself how you would write in their language.” This worthy and nonjudgmental piece of advice is typical of the many other sound and instructive advices contained in Developing International Markets.

Copyright Commercial Law League of America May/Jun 1999

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