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Pascal's China Lens

Pascal Coppens

When reading something about doing business in China, you read to show respect, drink baijiu (rice wine), give business cards with two hands, never give clocks as a gift, be patient, learn Chinese ,…and much more. Vague and often as if you need a China MBA to become successful. Few businessmen have time or money for this.

Pascal Coppens advice is right on point and well worth adopting:

"Be yourself, and make all these mistakes. Chinese will not be offended as you are not the first foreigner making them. But change your way on how to do business in China. Here are ten practical tips that can make a bigger difference."

01:07 THINK LIKE A STARTUP. Start-ups need to learn about their market and clients, operate with little budget, be creative and flexible, look for customers, find money, hire an A-team, make quick decisions, be unique and do everything themselves.

02:11 START SMALL, WITHOUT DELAY. Travelling 10 times to China is fun, but does not really make a difference. Don’t get distracted by all the opportunities around you. Start with one city. Shanghai has 20 million residents with a buying power the size as a country like Belgium. Start small, put on your radar and scale what works.

03:17 DON’T TRUST YOUR GUT. Don’t trust on all your business experience. Look primarily at results and repeat what works, just faster each time. Look for people who fit your culture and who have been active in China for years in your industry to check for solutions and answers.

04:13 HAVE AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE. Your USP and added value is in the quality of your products, services, experts and experience. Build on your reputation in China first as a top company or brand, because the best Chinese clients and consumers are looking for the best products.

05:26 LOCALISE OR STAY AWAY. Keep your values, but be open to adapt your products, services, packaging or price for the local market. Give your local team enough decision autonomy. Learn some Chinese once you are profitable.

06:32 BE IMPATIENT AND ASSERTIVE. In China, you need to constantly chase people to get things done. Chinese don’t mind that you chase them, as they do this themselves too. Chinese are way too busy to earn money or success to follow-up every request you may have. Follow-up on payments and deliveries, Be super assertive, but stay respectful.

07:36 EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. Expect that a lot will go wrong, and then usually everything will be fine. Check everything, double check, challenge all information, ask for proof, stay involved, protect your IP, …but don’t get discouraged or lose trust in our partners. China is full of surprises, but even more solutions.

08:48 STAY POSITIVE. If you become negative about China or Chinese, it’s time to leave China. It is crucial to keep belief in your partners and market, because Chinese will feel your distrust and doubts miles away. Stay authentic and passionate as if China were an adventure.

09:46 PEOPLE WILL MAKE YOU SUCCESSFUL. Your biggest investment in the first year should be in people, not the market. People who can help you become more successful. Become acquainted with your local trustees and work closely with them.

10:37 MAKE FRIENDS IN THE GOVERNMENT. The government can be your engine for growth and insurance policy. Learn to get to know the governmental people in your industry. Think how you can help them, as the return on investment will often be very high.

11:33 Conclusion: These 10 tips are useful in B2C, B2B, B2B2C, B2G...any type of business, any type of industry in China.

Pascal's China Lens week 55 #chinasnewnormal #succeedinchina #chinabusiness

Website: ABOUT PASCAL COPPENS: Website: Linkedin: Youtube channel: BOOK - CHINA's NEW NORMAL

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