How to Speed Up Your China Business
I have heard this saying many times that “when you do business with China, double your budget and triple your expected timeframe to achieve success.” It is true in a lot of cases, but some people seem to be a bit luckier than others and succeed in China with an amazing speed. What do they do to speed up their China business?
Having assisted many Australian companies to do business with China, I identified a few must- have attributes of companies doing business successfully with China.
First, these companies objectively assess their unique sustainable competitive advantage in the Chinese market, smartly dodge head-on competition through differentiation, and target the right market where there is a gap they can fill or which appreciates their unique selling points such as advanced technology, unique product functions or green image, etc.
Second, these companies may have ambitious long-term plan for China but adopt a focus strategy at the initial stage. Focus, focus, focus. They focus on the opportunities in their target niche market rather than be districted by the huge scale and diversities of China; they focus on key contacts and are not immersed by the cultural nuances; and they focus and devote resources to result-oriented activities. With this strategy, companies are able to use limited resources efficiently and achieve cash flower quicker to subsidize the expansion plan at next stage.
Third, they find and leverage external complementary skills and resources to speed up the market expansion in China. They leverage established and committed distributors’ existing networks to tap into the China market; they hire Chinese managers or China business consultants to gain China market insight and capabilities to handle various tough situations in China; and they leverage joint venture partners’ financial resources to upscale their operation in China.
Fourth, these companies are flexible, nimble and quick to the changes in the Chinese market. Things which may take 5 years to happen in a mature western economy may get done in the Socialist Free Market in China within a year. Successful companies do not wait and see, but quickly navigate through the complicated Chinese market to grasp the opportunities.
Last but perhaps most importantly, these companies understand the drivers in the Chinese social, political and economic environment, understand the game rule and know the little things which make a big difference. Reading The Art of War, appreciating Chinese traditional paintings, being able to greet with a few Mandarin words and reciting a line of Chinese poem will be an absolute plus to glue relationships in China. While face and Guanxi (relationship) are must-knows, lots of successful companies even go the extra miles to further learn and grasp the fundamental philosophies mainstreams in China believe and appreciate. They are more like insiders and adapt their strategy to work more efficiently and effectively in China.
For further information or assistance program for doing business with China, please visit Sara’s blog http://ChinaSolutions.wordpress.com
- China Solutions : All the must-know tips for doing business with China