Small Business Today Magazine JUL 2014 PHENOMENAL PRODUCTS - Page 18

EDITORIALFEATURE in Chinese but printed in golden letters because gold is an important and favorable color in the Chinese culture.  Regardless of the ethnic group, it is important not to write on the business card.  It will be received as a personal slight. Communication is the most challenging part of doing business in Malaysia.  Malaysians communicate in a very indirect way because they are careful to remain in harmony with their interlocutor.  Maintaining a good relationship and keeping “face,” or honor, is more important than any business deal.  Consequently, nothing negative should ever be brought up and no accusation should ever be made publicly.  Since Malaysians eschew negativity, they will never say “no” directly.  Therefore, you will be obliged to read their body language and facial expressions for clues as to how they react to a proposal.  Moreover, very often they will employ expressions like “I 16 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ JULY 2014 ] will try” or “I’ll see.”  This is one of the polite ways of saying “no.” While Malaysia has not traditionally been a popular place for investments, the opportunity there is enormous.  The multiethnic nature of the country may seem intimidating but it is by no means insurmountable as long as proper cultural sensitivity is employed. As a graduate of the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston, Ludmila (Mila) Rusakova Golovine, Founder, CEO, and President of MasterWord Services, Inc., started her company with a vision of seamlessly connecting people across any language, any time, and any culture.  Mila can be reached by email at mgolovine@masterword.com, by phone at 281-589-0810, or visit her website at www.masterword.com.