Looking to expand your business? You might want to look to the Far East - as in China. There is a groundswell of eager Chinese consumers with money to spend. As the middle class expands they'll be looking for the same types of products and services as every other group of middle class workers around the globe.
How can you break into the Chinese market? It's going to take a little groundwork and investment.
Here's what you need to think about to do business in China:
Get the Lay of the Land
You really can't just drop your products into China and expect them to sell. You'll first want to explore the country.
Don't worry about seeing it all. Stay focused on the urban centers where people are spending their money. The language barrier could be a huge hurdle but it is easy to overcome. There are many locals who are happy to act as an interpreter. Try going through a reputable service to find someone to take you around. For a few bucks you can also download the iTranslate app on your Smartphone which will get you through the basics in a pinch. If you're really serious about doing business in China you might take a language course. That will show your Chinese counterparts that you're respectful of their culture.
Keep in mind that you're not guaranteed to make a quick buck in China. Build a long-term strategy, with a network of employees, business professionals and consultants.
Find a Trade Show
Just like there are trade shows and expos happening all the time on this side of the Pacific, there will be the same kind of opportunities in China. Depending on your business these could be a perfect way to start building up your new Chinese network of business associates.
Retain a Qualified Lawyer
The Chinese have a different way of doing business. Once you embrace that you should be able to navigate the intricacies of the Chinese marketplace. For instance, the Chinese don't embrace contracts as a legally binding agreement but more of a show of good faith. Does this mean you could get ripped off? Perhaps which is why you want to do your homework before setting up shop in Shanghai. A good lawyer will provide you with the legal backing and advice to help you navigate the business culture.
Work With a Consultant
You might find that a solid business consultant on this side of things can be the best introduction into Chinese business and culture. Once again, because of the many business opportunities happening in China you should be able to find a qualified consultant to help you set up your business. Look for a consulting company with many resources as opposed to an individual. You'll get more bang for your buck that way.