Doing Business

Most of my experience has stemmed off of my job as an intern and working with non-profits down south. This being said, understanding how Latin Americans think in the world of business is crucial otherwise you will have lots of miscommunication which I have had the pleasure of witnessing usually between a frustrated American, and a very confused Latino.

  • Time and Deadline concepts are generally relative.
    At least in the non-profit sector, giving someone a deadline doesn’t ensure he will have it ready, by that date. For them, it’s more of a time marker for the time period that he should finish his project, not the due date
  • It’s all connections and relationships.
    Much like the Italians, Hispanics do business deals primarily through existing channels of relationships, and if not, they prefer to do business with another individual by first building some kind of mutual relationship to the point where they feel they can trust you enough to start a business deal. This is very important to understand because many Americans drop in down south and become frustrated at the pace of business, complaining that Latin Americans are “slow” or “hesitant”. Unlike Americans, Latin Businessmen and women value relationships on a “can I trust you basis”. This means that if you plan on partnering up with a Latin American, don’t be surprised if they take time to know you personally before doing any kind of deal or venture.
  • La Economia
    Unlike Europe, Latin American governments have a wide variety of governments and economies. This means that you have any and all spectrums of governments present in the region, ranging from far left regimes (Cuba, Venezuela), free-trade friendly governments (Chile, Uruguay), and everything in between. Make sure you thoroughly understand the ease of business in the country you plan on entering long before you make a decision to do business into that country.
    Pro-tip: Make sure you know if there are any upcoming elections, since democracy and power changes are swift, and the last thing you want is to move into a country right as a foreign hostile government assumes power.



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