Photo: thaths on flickr
Use this guide to determine if you are ready to begin a new venture in China.1. Do you have a product that has a current and growing demand in the China market?
One way to evaluate potential demand for your technology, product or service is to determine if it fits with China’s current development plans, including its government supported 5 Year Plan for economic development. The timing and relevancy of your product is important. Entering the market when there is government supported demand for your product will increase the likelihood of your success.
2. Do you have the resources, both in terms of financial and human capital to invest in an effort abroad?
Expanding your business internationally can be a source of huge growth. But, it comes with a necessary upfront investment. Having the capital to begin an operation in a new place is one component. In addition, having capable people with time to devote to the initiative is equally important. Be sure to designate specific people as the key players in your move to China.
3. Do you have the capacity to sustain an ongoing initiative abroad?
Closely related to the point made just above, does your company have the capability to have a staff member be the contact point between your home office and your China office? Developing a clear channel of communication between your operations in China and your home office is crucial to your success in China.
4. Do you have the proper partner or team in China?
Having the right people working with you in China can set you up for success. This team can be formed in any number of arrangements, whether it be a joint venture with a Chinese firm, an office with qualified staff , or a consultant hired to assist you. Having support from those experienced in the market will be a huge advantage to your company. As is any new market, China poses unique challenges which can be abated by enlisting the assistance of specialists.
5. Do you have the flexibility and willingness to adapt to working in another culture?
Having the right attitude and understanding that business might be done in different ways internationally is important to keep in mind. When doing business in China, expect to encounter differences in human resources, government policies, and the legal system as well as the language. Being open to learning local values, customs and maybe even a few Chinese phrases will make your transition to the Chinese market far smoother.
If you were able to answer yes to all of the questions posed above, you may be ready to begin a new operation in China. Take a look at the article “Six Things To Do When Launching A Business In China” for some practical suggestions as you move forward.
If you answered yes to several of the questions above, entering China’s growing market could still be for you. It is important to be fully prepared before you make the move, so continue to ask yourself the questions listed above and determine what you still need to do before you are ready for business in China. As you take the time to make further preparations, take a look at “The 5 Biggest Challenges Businesses Face When They Expand To China” and “” to give you more information about how to approach sales and marketing in China.
By Anthony Goh and Sarah Burnham. Mr. Goh is President and Ms. Burnham is Business Development and Communications Associate at US-Pacific Rim International, Inc.(www.us-pacific-rim.net)
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