Selling to Russia can often be a tricky process. In many cases you need boots on the ground, unless you plan to spend a large part of your life flying back and forth. The most convenient location for doing business in Russia is its capital city. All the transport and financial networks in the country are centered around Moscow. There are several other big urban centers in Russia like St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, etc, but for most business operations the Russian capital is the best location.
Hiring a sales representative in Russia is a little bit different than the process you would utilize to hire an office assistant. You have some special considerations to make. First of all, you need to focus on creating a good job description. This is easy when hiring a person in an English speaking countries. But also in Russia there are many English-speaking professionals, although English language skills are not as common in Russia compared to Western European countries.
Your ability to communicate with your sales rep in Russia is crucial. You’re counting on this person to promote your goods and services, and if you aren’t on the same page, things can backfire quite quickly. You have to hire someone who is qualified to do the work. The sales representative should be adaptable and receptive to your ideas. Make sure you can easily talk to this person before you hire him or her. Absolute confidence and trust are a must for someone who is representing your business.
Every country has different regulations for employment, tax rules, etc. And Russia is no exception. If you don’t currently have the resources or sufficient sales volume in Russia to fully comply with the local rules and regulations, you might decide to hire Russian employees as independent contractors. They’ll be responsible for abiding by the Russian tax regulations and other formalities that they’re already familiar with, leaving one less thing to worry about when doing business in Russia.
Business cultures vary significantly from country to country, so make sure you’ve researched the formalities necessary to maintain a functional relationship with the Russian representative. You might have to compromise on a few things and be a little more accommodating of different work styles and communication methods.
Remember that developing a booming business in Russia takes some time – you can’t expect your Russian sales rep to change the world overnight. Patience, frequent communication, and a strong foundation of trust are necessary for a successful business in Russia.