International Business Ventures

Measuring a potential business venture has many aspects which the international
manager must be aware of in order to convey the correct information back to the
decision makers. Being ignorant to any of the aspects can lead to a false
representation of the project, and hence an uninformed decision being passed.
In order for a business to survive it must grow. For growth to be optimal,
management must first be able to identify the most attractive prospective leads.
The country as a whole, specifically geography, government, and financial
aspects must be looked at in order to yield the best possible picture of the
market a company wishes to enter. Concentration should be placed on gathering
reliable facts that are backed up by more than one source. It is to be hoped
that after creating "a picture" of the market, management\'s analysis of the
potential business venture and plan of action will be structured as to avoid
losses and to find the most profitable scenarios.

The success of the multinational corporation lies on the shoulders of it\'s
management. International management and organization-design expert Henry
Mintzenberg says every CEO has three essential duties: direct supervision,
development of the organization\'s strategy, and management of the organization\'s
boundary conditions. Top management\'s responsibility at and beyond the
organization\'s boundaries is largely a communication responsibility; however, no
commonly accepted model exists for decision, execution, and assessment of
communication opportunities. Within even some of the largest and most venerable
organizations, the process used is haphazard and inconsistent. The Wyatt
Company\'s survey of communications professionals showed that just 58.1 percent
agreed that their organization\'s communication objectives are linked to business
objectives, and 83.3 percent reported that their organizations conduct no formal
review of return on communications investment. CEOs must establish and
reinforce an organization\'s image in public by viewing each target public as a
client; by doing research, looking at trends, and talking to experts, a CEO
focuses on selling what the client wants to buy.1

Finding a country to conduct business in can be a very easy task depending on if
the organization\'s top management follows the advice of Mr. Mintzenberg. The
way a company normally discovers where to conduct research is through leads on
potential operations from outside sources. The selection of which leads to
investigate becomes the difficult task. After sifting through the leads and
finding the right ones to investigate management must formulate an international
marketing plan. This further helps management in locating potential markets for
their products. The first step is to use secondary research to find out what
the sales potential is in a given market. Asking the questions of need, demand,
and support gives one a starting point for research. If we were a company that
sold pants we might want to ask the following questions. Is there a need for
pants? Is it cold enough there to wear pants? Do people that demand the pants
have money? These are the questions that one should ask of potential markets.
Table 1-located at the end of the paper-shows the statistics that are needed for
a general market picture. After gathering the information from the secondary
research, the picture of a potential market becomes more evident. However, to
make the picture clearer, one must conduct primary research. This research
outlines the specifics of the potential market that directly pertain to the
product. Robert Douglas\' book, Penetrating the International Market, addresses
the issue of locating potential markets in greater detail.2 [mg1] After
finding a lead that contains profitable markets it is necessary to analyze the
venture as a whole. The decisions of companies must be based on the facts of
reliable sources on all investments. To gather the information needed for
investment projects, management must organize a competent feasibility team. The
members of this team should be comprised of employees of the company, this is so
that the knowledge will stay within the company. If the resources are not
available for an employee conducted study then outside consultants may be used,
it may also be beneficial to use a combination of the two. The first step in
conducting a study is to design it by using project objectives as the base.
During the second step the team must be staffed with people that have the
ability to solve problems in any situation. In the third step the team should
be properly placed and instructed. In the fourth and final step the product of
the feasibility study should be properly communicated to the decision-making
management.3 Table 2-located at the end of the paper-shows a general timeline
that a company follows through the