Starting a business in a foreign market involves many factors that may influence its success. Russian Business Etiquette is one of them if the target country is Russia.
With over 140 million customers, Russia is one of the top largest and vast export markets in the world. Starting a business in this country, of course, requires learning the rules of its business etiquette.
The official language of Russian business is Russian. Though English is popular in the country, it is not widely spoken.
Starting a Business in the Russian Market
The U.S. Commercial Service recommends conducting a thorough foreign market research before attempting to start a business in Russia. Business partners are to be chosen very carefully. Travel to the country and regular communication are of a great importance for establishing and maintaining successful business relations.
It is very beneficial to establish positive relations with national, regional, or local authorities.
Advertising, market promotion and regular visits should be an integral part of the Russian market entry strategy.
Doing Business in Russia
A company must be officially registered in Russia in order to legally conduct business.
A reasonable combination of price and quality is welcomed by the Russian customers. A foreign exporter should be ready to adequately compete with inexpensive Russian, European and third-country goods. Strong advertising and promotion campaigns can be of assistance.
Success in the Russian market demands after-sales service, customer support and training. Establishing personal relationship with business partners is crucially important for conducting business in Russia.
The largest business centers of the country are Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Business Etiquette of the Russian Market
- Clothing is usually formal – both men and women wear business suites for official occasions. Dresses and skirts for women, as well as high-hilled shoes, are very common. Russian businessmen pay much attention to clothing as it is considered to be a reflection of one’s success and prosperity.
- Business meetings should be appointed beforehand. They are usually accompanied by refreshments like tea, coffee, and water.
- Business cards are common and important. The best option would be a two-language card (English/Russian).
- Promotional materials should be in Russian. Make sure the translation is accurate and high-quality.
- Gifts are accepted, but not required or expected. However, they are a good way to establish positive personal relations with business partners.
- A visa received at a Russian Embassy or Consulate is required to enter the country.
- The official currency of the Russian market is ruble.
- Credit cards are accepted by most hotels and shops in the large cities, but it’s better to always have cash, especially if visiting a small city.
- There are 11 time zones across the country, and business hours are from 9 AM to 6 PM.
- Shopping can be done from 10 AM to 8 PM. Many large stores are open 24/7.