Posted by: changholt | January 12, 2016

What happened to Brazil?

Even with it challenges Brazil is a GREAT place to do business. Like all country’s the key is to find right partners!

Brazil’s challenges are hard to understand but I think these 3 Economist cover stories say it all.


Now the question is what will Brazilians do next? At HSI we are confident in a long term rebound, but make sure you working with the right people.

Posted by: changholt | January 6, 2016

The 6 Chinese holidays you need to know



Happy New Year everyone, and for those who work with China, it’s time to look at those 6 key Chinese holidays. Here is the official list for Chinese holidays 2016. FYI, many of the holidays that provide long days off, may not be as long as one may think. Your Chinese counterparts often have to make those days off over the weekend (pay special attention to “adjusted days off”, you really don’t get as many holidays as one might think).

China Public Holidays 2016

Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), February
Chinese New Year (otherwise known as “Spring Festival”) 2016
Date: Monday, February 8, 2016
Days off: February 7-13, 2016 (Sunday-Saturday)
Adjusted Working Days: Saturday, February 6 and Sunday, February 14

Tomb Sweep Festival, April (otherwise known as “Qingming”)
Date: Monday, April 4, 2016
Days off: April 2-4, 2016 (Saturday-Monday)
No Adjusted Working Days

Labor Day (May Day) Holiday, May
Date: Sunday, May 1, 2016
Days off: April 30-May 2, 2016 (Saturday-Monday)
No Adjusted Working Days

Dragon Boat Festival, June
Date: Thursday, June 9, 2016
Days off: June 9-11, 2016 (Thursday-Saturday)
Adjusted Working Days: Sunday, June 12

Mid-Autumn Festival 2016, September
Date: Thursday, September 15, 2016
Days off: September 15-17, 2016 (Thursday-Saturday)
Adjusted Working Days: Sunday, September 18

National Day (otherwise known as “Golden Week”) October
Date: Saturday, October 1, 2016
Days off: October 1-7, 2016 (Saturday-Friday)
Adjusted Working Days: Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9

For more details see That’s China article (great calendar pictorial) or the official government website

I hope that helps you work better with your Chinese colleagues!

Posted by: changholt | December 30, 2015

How to grow the business beyond the borders

As an internationalist, and one was passion for business development, one of the most interesting topics is how you enter a foreign market. This short seminar is set up to look at all the options both passive and active sales channels, as well as, looking at setting up direct investment — either a sales subsidiary or producing oversees to be closer to your clients.


Posted by: changholt | December 16, 2015

Concerns in contracts for business

In international trade contracts are a necessary evil. This short seminar tries to address all the issues you want to have in an international distribution contract with a potential partner. All too often, we think of lawyers of having superior intellect or greater knowledge about a subject matter. This often intimidates us into making bad decisions. We always have to remember that lawyers who put together a contract for us, work for us. All the best lawyers I know act as “consultants”. These lawyers, the good ones, want you to tell them specifically what you want to accomplish. This is critical for many different reasons. First of all, no one knows your business better and you do. Second, this contract is a communication device with our partner to clearly write out all the details of our business relationship. The more specific we are the better a lawyer can put together a contract (Utilizing that intellect). Hopefully, after reviewing this you have a better idea of what you want in a contract so you can have your lawyer help you put it together. If you have any questions or concerns please let us know and we can help out.

Posted by: changholt | December 9, 2015

Supply Chain for more opportunities

Here is an introduction to international trade and supply chain logistics, a course I often teach at the University of California, Irvine. This seminar is made for professional environments and is driven by power points. I hope it helps you better understand where international trade is coming from, what the supply chain is, and where things are moving. International trade and entering new markets is an opportunity for everyone.

Most importantly, I hope my voice does not put you to sleep. The idea is to introduce you to new concepts and challenge the way you’ve been doing international trade in the past. For those of you have never been involved in international trade, this is a great primer to better understand International trade and supply chain logistics.

Posted by: changholt | December 2, 2015

Payment in International trades

International trade nothing ruins a good deal more than bad payment terms”. In essence, nobody wants to get ripped off. Therefore, good payment terms, can protect you as the manufacturer, while also opening up new markets by offering favorable trade and payment terms. Let us show you how.


Posted by: changholt | November 24, 2015

Legal system and international business

In international trade not only are you doing with different cultures, languages, regulations, etc.,  you are also dealing with a different legal system. Therefore, you need a document to help you work through this business relationship. Communication is the key to success in International trade, and a good contract is the best way to articulate the needs of both parties.

Posted by: changholt | November 17, 2015

Motivators to grow your business internationally

Posted by: changholt | November 10, 2015

Right decisions to gain competitive advantage


A company can obtain a strategic advantage over its competitors by making customer-driven decisions by offering:

  • Flexible shipping terms, such as the choice of Incoterms in a particular transaction
  • Terms of payment that are favorable to the customer, while protecting yourself from the risk of default
  • Choosing a currency of payment that is convenient to the importer, while hedging its transaction exposure — reducing risk for both parties
  • Being very careful and diligent in its document preparation.

Are your trade terms with your partner’s customer friendly?  Remember while we are trying to protect our company’s interest and reduce our risk, all too often we actually increase the risk of our partner/client. By transferring the risk to them we are protecting ourselves, but we are also making it difficult to do business with. Are we easy to do business with? If not, our customers will find somebody else to do business with, and we won’t make any money. We can help you create customer friendly trade terms while at the same time mitigating your risk exposure.

Posted by: changholt | November 3, 2015

Is bartering still effective?


Given the current market uncertainties, cash and cash flow have never been more important. We have to consider various new options in selling and market development, and one option in Bartering. Not simple guns for butter trade but creative solutions that benefit all parties. My brother has been bartering for years as he had built several businesses and he found it a great way to provide value to his clients (in his core competency) and get the same in return (value for value… not a bad deal).

It’s not complicated, but it does take flexibility, and creativity. Practically anyone with a good understanding of value can become a successful barterer in a very short period of time. Better yet, the profits can come almost as fast… the return on investment can be amazing.


First, let’s define bartering:

In sum, bartering is a method by which two parties (or more) exchange goods or services for other goods or services, instead of using money (it’s a swap). We are going to try to take this one step further so we get more creative solutions to get even better results

Second, the benefit bartering:

There are many reasons to use a good barter exchange:
1. Greater purchasing power
2. Increased revenue
3. Preserving cash, some argue that you enjoy up to 80% savings on your exchanges.
4. More clients (both from the barter exchange and from cash-business referrals from barter clients)
5. Better cash flow
6. Greater marketing opportunities
7. Improved efficiency
8. Acquire needed items with money you’ve already spent.
9. Finance major purchases interest-free for up to two years, and get the purchaser to carry the paper at a discount.

Third, determine your bartering leverage points:

You need to determine where you have leverage. For example, your company produces or sells a product. If there is a market for your product, you have a bartering opportunity. The items your company manufactures cost you a fraction of the retail price (what over parties value it at). Likewise, all of the goods and service you or your company needs also are manufactured at a fraction of the price you buy them at (you value them more than their cost structure).


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