10 Key Tips for Entrepreneurs in China
China is the hub and central point of economic and commercial activity in the world. With a massive population of 1.39 billion, the country has a lot to offer in terms of business and growth opportunities. Since the advent of the internet, the speed by which new businesses are establishing themselves in China has increased, even more, followed by a surge in the demand of high tech industries. As a result of this high demand from the Chinese consumer and the feasible market conditions of China, entrepreneurs from all walks of life are attracted to this region.
Not only that, but it is also estimated that there is 10% consumer growth in China every year that accounts for approximately 1 billion consumers. Out of this, about 800 million consumers are smartphone users while 540 million use the internet daily. Considering these numbers, it is no surprise that businesses and especially entrepreneurs seek ways to make a name for themselves in the Chinese market.
To be able to run a business successfully in China, however, it is important to keep certain things in mind—such as a thorough understanding of the Chinese language and culture, regulatory requirements and of course, the support of a reliable and professional agency that can deliver expert Chinese translation services.
Here’s a look at the 10 tips every entrepreneur in China should follow to make his business a huge success in this lucrative market:
Keep It Small and Slow
The most significant and effective advice given to people who are interested in doing business in China is to think big and start small. For a beginner, it is advisable to first invest in small businesses to acquire experience and feedback from Chinese and then go for the big fish.
It is said that “haste makes waste”. This stands true for businesses that try to make an impact in the Chinese market by investing a large amount. This is counterproductive for both the business and the Chinese market, which is why it is wise to start small first. An initial small investment will give an idea about the opportunities that the Chinese market has to offer, along with building confidence, momentum, and providing quick feedback and learning. All an entrepreneur needs to do is wait for the right time as the saying goes “slow and steady wins the race”. Only then he will be able to take his business to the next level.
Adapt to the Chinese Culture
There’s a famous saying that highlights the importance of dating oneself according to the country he’s in—“when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Adapting your business to fit the country you are in takes a lot of effort and dedication, combined with thorough knowledge about the customs, languages, and traditions of the country. In adapting, though, most companies and entrepreneurs forget that language plays a pivotal role, and they need to understand the dynamics of languages being spoken in China. Other than that, they should also understand that Chinese consumer interacts with foreign brands on a different level, and the key to attaining their attention is to target the affluent, young, and tech-savvy consumer first. There is no research or book that can provide a complete explanation of Chinese thinking and culture, which is why one must learn and discover China on his own. In simple words, “Adapt to China, China won’t adapt to you”.
Move Quick (Or Die Quick)
In China, everything is in motion. The civilization is changing quickly and new trends are appearing and disappearing at a high speed. Fresh platforms are being discovered and Chinese firms are spending a lot of money and enhancing their domestic market. An example of this “quick to take action” attitude is the way Alibaba, the largest digital player in China took less than 6 months to set up AliPay (mobile pay deal) in all shops across the country. What’s more, the Chinese companies have the capability of copying the latest version of the iPhone within a span of a single night!
The Chinese business is quick and changes fast. With more competitors entering the market every year, the need to quicken up the business pace is even more prominent. If you own a small business and are looking for ways to make a business impact in China, you may need to act quickly. Of course, you will be needing a well-crafted business plan, thorough research and the support of a reliable Chinese translation service to make the job easy for you.
In setting up a business anywhere, an entrepreneur needs to have some core skills at his disposal that would make his business a good one in the target market—one of these skills is practicality. It is important to not be distracted by big numbers but to be pragmatic and take a practical approach to set up a business. The Chinese market is full of hidden surprises—what works for one company may not work for another. To take a practical approach, survey the Chinese market thoroughly, consider the costs, inspect the supply chain channels, and then go for introducing your product/service. A practical approach will result in greater chances of business success as compared to an approach that is unplanned and focuses only on making profits. This is why it is important to be positive, logical, and focused on learning what will work and what won’t work in the Chinese market.
Survey Online shopping and E-commerce
The Chinese market is a hotbed of opportunities for new businesses. A new entrepreneur aiming to set up business in China needs to have thorough knowledge about the way the Chinese consumer shops—and that way is the online way.
Online shopping has become the latest trend to look out for in China. According to some statistics, it has been estimated that in 2018, about 816.98 million Chinese used their smartphones to use the internet, out of which 610 million users purchased from the online market. An entrepreneur must take advantage of this growing E-commerce market to place his products within easy reach of the customer while making sure to use the online channels to advertise and promote his services.
Goodwill counts a lot in China
In China, a brand name is everything. While it is true that there is immense competition in the Chinese market, counterfeit products are also very much present here. To copy the name of an existing business in China is considered cheating, which is why any entrepreneur who sets up a business with a new name is appreciated by the Chinese consumer. This also builds trust and company name in China as buyers feel that the product they are purchasing does not belong from a fake or copied company.
The world of business is a maze full of challenges and opportunities. An entrepreneur should know that everything takes time, which is why he should be patient, calm, and focused.
In China, just like any other country, it is difficult to find a loyal consumer who would stick to your brand. This is why it is important to understand that hard work will pay off in the end if a company continues to reach out to the consumer. It must be kept in mind that a positive attitude will take you a long way in establishing a good business repute as well as earn loyal consumers in the long run.
Employ Local Partners
To enlarge any foreign market, hiring local partners who can guide you through the cultural and logistical hurdles of the Chinese market is an excellent policy. This really works in the case of China, because its values and systems are different than those of Western countries. Employing local partners will build trust and repute as well as make the supply of goods an easy task for a new business.
Significance of Teamwork
While it is true that entrepreneurs learn by themselves, research, and go through business meetings to gain experience, the power of teamwork cannot be denied. Worthy leaders learn from their mentors and the best mentors learn from a team. Encouraging and assisting teammates and partners in business is a wonderful strategy as it builds unity among workers and develops goodwill. An entrepreneur should honor them with outstanding performance and spend time in improving relationship with them while taking care not to look down on them.
It’s not easy to attract Chinese consumers. As every company aims to attract consumers by advertising online and adopting the traditional approaches to promoting brands online, the abundance of advertisements has resulted in ‘clutter’ and information overload. This is why there is a need for cooler strategies, resourceful campaigns, and more appealing, inspiring, and advanced marketing tactics. To achieve this, the best technique is to think big and aim for online advertising and the use of social media platforms. Likewise, key influencers hold significant importance in China, so an entrepreneur should make use of these influencers to advertise his brand.
The Chinese market is full of opportunities, especially for new businesses. While it is true that setting up a business in China would take time to give the profits, an entrepreneur must take advantage of the lucrative Chinese market to make an impact. Likewise, an entrepreneur should also employ the services of a reliable Chinese translation service to translate his business content. It is important to stay focused and dedicated in order to make the desired impact on the Chinese market.