Top 3 Most Popular Languages in Business


Top 3 Most Popular Languages in Business

Marina Ivanova – June 2017

Although it is difficult to predict the direct benefits of learning a second language, we do know that this skill will set you apart from your competition whether in the work force or while searching for a career. Here we have listed the top 3 most popular languages in Business right now, besides English, and in what industries they are most beneficial.

When doing business solely within the United States, it is important for companies to know how to communicate with the country as a whole. Given that Spanish is said to be the second most spoken language in America, it’s easily the best to learn for those looking to broaden their horizons within the United States. For this reason, getting a good job within any customer service-related industry is almost certainly tied to your ability to speak Spanish. It is estimated that the ability to speak Spanish could come with a wage increase of about 1.7%.

In addition to doing better business in the United States, Spanish could broaden horizons in countries like the ones throughout South America. With large self-sustaining environments, South America offers opportunities for a cheaper way to do business, and most of the population is Spanish-speaking.

There’s also Mexico, which is one of the top countries to think about investing in. It has a free market economy in the trillion-dollar class, and trading with the United States continues to increase.

As of this year, it is estimated that 400 million people around the world speak Spanish and 340 million speak English. Spanish is the official language of 21 countries and is spoken in 44 countries. Being able to communicate in Spanish fluently would be beneficial to communicating efficiently with cultures throughout the United States, but also in many countries around the world.

Mandarin Chinese
Surprise, surprise, the most widely spoken language on the plant is Chinese with over a billion numbers of speakers. Recent years have seen China grow to become one of the world’s largest trading nations. We have also seen the demand for Chinese-speaking business people grow.

Some of the most important and influential Chinese communities are in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, and Mongolia. Mandarin Chinese is spoken in all of these, so knowing how to converse with professionals in these places would give business people the advantage of tapping into vast markets and making a more personal connection with some of the most powerful economies.

Mandarin is the official and most widely spoken language within China, though there are also a number of other Chinese dialects that are also spoken within the country. Mandarin is one of the official languages of the United Nations.

It is important to note that many companies have long-terms investments in China, so business with international companies such as these would provide business for years to come. That being said, it may take a while to learn this complex language, but China is not going away as a powerful nation any time soon.

Arabic, one of the world’s oldest languages is spoken in the Middle East, with speakers found in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt. So many people have a working knowledge of Arabic, in fact, that in 1974 it was made the sixth official language of the United Nations.

The use of the Internet is rising in popularity in the Middle East, and so it is becoming easier to do business there from anywhere else.

Other business owners agree that the Middle East is one of their biggest export markets. Some say the region makes up a quarter of their business overall. Because of the fast-growing market of eager consumers in the Middle East, businesses should consider making their products easily available to Arabic speakers, and enterprising business people should consider taking a few lessons.

There are about 406 million native speakers Arabic is the official language of roughly 27 different countries, and the Middle East is proving to be full of promises for businesses across the world.

Is Building Relationships Important In Business?

Building Relationships

Is Building Relationships Important In Business?

Marc-Eddy Drouinaud Jr – 5 May 2017

You cannot do business alone. You need people around you to help you. Therefore, building relationships with people and sustaining them is very important. This is a fact in business. This article attempts to throw light on the art of building relationships.


Building Relationships

Become genuinely interested in other people:

This is golden rule to follow in building relationships. As an employer, inquiring about the well-being of others without having any kind of selfish motive can go a long way in cementing relationships. People will find this trait of you being genuinely interested in them as very endearing. A businessperson can close many deals by evincing a genuine interest in the client rather than extolling the benefits of his or her products or services.

Give the credit where it is due:

Business is teamwork. The hallmark of a great leader is that he or she should appreciate teamwork and give the credit for any success to the team. In this way, he can ensure the loyalty of the team members towards the company. When you have loyal employees, your business’s profits can sky-rocket.

Never criticize anybody especially in front of others:

Your employees are human too. They can make mistakes. Some of the mistakes can be detrimental to the interests of the company. If the intention of the employee is not suspect, it is always advisable to forgive the mistake and move ahead. In any case, you should never criticize him or her in front of others. You can speak to the person in private about the issue and make him or her realize the damage.


Call your employees by their first names:

Every person in the world is proud of his or her first name. Calling him or her by that name can have a tremendous effect on his or her psyche. It creates a special kind of bonding between the employee and you. As much as possible, try to remember their names even after they leave the company. This is one of the best ways of building relationships.


Understand the difference between flattery and praise:

Flattery is telling the other person precisely what he or she thinks in order to get benefits. For example, if you were the owner of a clothing store, flattery is telling a woman she looks nice in a dress in order to get her to buy it. Praise is what you think of him or her. Knowing the difference is the key to building effective relationships. Praise is handing out complements for no gain, praise is genuine. You need praise in order to build lasting business relationships.

Understanding The Art Of Relationship Brokering

Understanding The Art Of Relationship Brokering

Understanding The Art Of Relationship Brokering


By Carol Weaving

Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the fulcrum of our economic engine; not only in South African but across the African continent. In South Africa, they provide employment to about 60% of our labour force and they plug-in various gaps in a number of industry value chains, facilitating the effective running of said industries.


Equally important, SMEs are, as South African Reserve Bank Deputy Governor, Francois Groepe asserts, “an essential conduit whereby millions of people enter the economic and social mainstream of a society.”


Through small businesses, the everyman has relatively unfettered access to an otherwise cryptic and many a time, exclusive realm. At a time when our economy needs us all to pull and push together, they present an effective pathway to economic inclusion.

With this in mind, supporting small businesses could not be more urgent. In South Africa, SMEs make up 91% of formalised businesses and are responsible for 34% of our GDP. These are huge numbers that can be bigger the more support there is for SMEs.


We need platforms that facilitate entrepreneurship and small business growth, like the Small Business Expo which is the evolution of 20 years of Thebe Reed Exhibitions’ dedication to entrepreneurship.


The exhibition, focuses on facilitating relationship brokering between small business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, franchisors, corporate leaders and business hubs and incubators. Through effective relationship brokering, small business owners connect and support each other, and grow their establishments.


1. Know your own story, and know it well

Sharing your story – whether it’s your business proposition, your skill set or a project you are working on – is a determinant of successful relationship brokering. You have to know your story, and know it well enough to share it in a compelling manner. Your story is part of the collateral you leave any prospective business connections.


2. Relationship brokering builds social capital

Your own and the social capital of those around you. It’s a process that, when done right, builds your influence and profiles your authority. Not only do you get a chance for people to know you, but also for people to get to know what you do and the pedigree you possess as a business owner, entrepreneur or professional. You position yourself, on an uninterrupted stage that is formal yet relaxed and personal.


3. Relationship brokering is about building sustainable communities of people and businesses that complement each other

It’s about fostering collaboration where synergies exist and enabling connections where business opportunities exist. Beyond that, a successfully built community becomes the support structure to members of its network.


4. Build and maintain bridges

Don’t put yourself first. Pay attention to your business associates and connections. Ascertain their needs and assist them in addressing those needs. During that process, you profile your own skill set and showcase what you and your business can do. This is important as relationship brokering is only self-serving to a point. If it becomes a one-way street, connections crumble because no one wants to be involved in a one-way relationship.


5. Relationship brokering facilitates sharing

Relationships are about mutual value and this mutual value is not only monetary but also about shared objectives, visions and ambitions. This connection must allow parties to draw value strategically for the outcome of a business endeavour or opportunity. The shared value can include knowledge, skills transference or specialist experience – whatever the attribute, achieving mutual value is the objective of the relationship.


6. Quality trumps quantity

Relationship brokering is not a business card collection contest after all. Focus on those businesses and personalities who are stakeholders in your industry’s value chain. Always remember that one quality business relationship surpasses a rolodex of business cards who have no link to your work or industry.


7. Do follow up. Do reach out

Many of us do more than enough sharing of contact details but not enough following up and reaching out. Follow up to legitimise the connection and start building a relationship.

Networking Slip Ups

Networking Slip Ups

Networking Slip Ups

By Chi Chi Okezie 

Even savvy networkers can experience not so ideal networking situations. Many times in conversations, there is a tendency to forget information, be vague or not market ourselves effectively. Of course, when these situations occur, we miss opportunities to expand our networks and further our objectives.

Listed below are examples of networking instances that we can avoid to be better suited for opportunities.

Memory Slip Up

Sometime, we can forget names of colleagues, information about our industries or other things which can leave a void in any conversation. Although, we can not avoid these types of situations, we can be better prepared to handle them. If this should occur with a colleague, quickly offer to exchange info and follow up when you are able to retrieve the proper information. Of course, do your due diligence and follow up and keep your colleague updated or properly informed.

Etiquette Slip Up

It is always important to make a good first impression to build trust and credibility for building quality relationships. But sometimes, we can miss our manners and create uncomfortable situations. Before your next networking event, brush up on your etiquette skills. Learn the proper way of making an introduction, sharpen your elevator pitch, remember which side to wear your name tag and carry plenty of business cards.

Follow Up Slip Up

As savvy networkers, we can be pulled in many directions or have many business or work obligations. A critical piece of networking is properly following up and building relationships. Make it a point to reach out or connect in a timely manner. Respect your colleague by continuing to show interest after meeting them at the event or function. Also, link up on professional social media sites to further any conversations of info sharing.

Hopefully, these tips can encourage you to be mindful of typical networking mishaps. Being aware, prepared and open to building your networks are all keys to success.

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Get Them To Solve Problems, Not Just Raise Concerns

Get Them To Solve Problems, Not Just Raise Concerns

Get Them To Solve Problems, Not Just Raise Concerns

By Lonnie Pacelli

Some time back one of my managers sent out an email announcing that we had just won an account. This was a very big deal for us as our product was new to the marketplace and we were working hard to gain acceptance with customers. Several of us responded to the email expressing our excitement over the new account. One of my managers responded with “I’ve got concerns” and listed off a series of issues with servicing the account. All of the issues that the manager brought up were valid issues; the problem is that I didn’t know who was expected to do what regarding the issues.

I asked the manager that raised the issues to get in a room with a couple of other managers and put some resolution to the issues. Fortunately, there was no friction in the request and the managers got to work to outline each issue and put forth a suggested approach for how to deal with the issue. About an hour later the team of managers responded with a solid approach that would be taken which worked for everyone and addressed all of the concerns raised.

We’ve all experienced the person who had no problem at all saying “I’ve got concerns” to just about anything but offered nothing constructive in terms of suggested resolutions. The culprit wants to be the one to raise the issue and wants someone else to take ownership to resolve the problem. That dog don’t hunt with me.

When situations like this happen with me, I like to have the one that raises the issue get with a small subset of interested parties to come up with a resolution to the issue, and hold the person who raised the issue accountable for reporting back to the rest of the team as to the resolution. What I’ve found in doing this is that the quality of the solution is much better than a solution that any one person could have come up with because the interested stakeholders have all put their thumb-print on the resolution.

Next time one of your team members raises an issue, consider putting the issue back to a few of your team members, asking the person who raised the issue to drive resolution to the issue, and reporting back to the team the proposed resolution. You’ll get a better quality resolution and you’ll reduce churn with the team.


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