In the fourth and final series of my four sections on China’s influence on the US and the global economy, we focus on the benefits of working with international expertise for your business if you have plans to enter the Chinese business market. My extensive Asian market business experience encouraged me to write this series so that you can help you better understand how you can open your business to benefit from the Chinese market.
Cultural mistakes can take a lot of time
In 1973, Procter & Gamble sought to expand their Camay soap line in Japan. Their ad showed a Japanese man meeting a Japanese woman for the first time, and praising her on porcelain dolls like her skin (achieved with a firm soap, of course).
Over the next 13 years, the company lost $ 25 million in the market. Japanese people shouldn’t be soft soapy.
Best intentions …
P&G is a large corporation, and has been warned by advertising consultants that advertising (which has been running successfully in many other countries) will not work. But P&G executives ignored it.
The problem is that while Western culture sees the ‘porcelain doll’ praise flattering, in Japan it is seen as disrespectful. The ad said ‘use Camay and attract abusive comments’.
That is a very special cultural difference because of the lack of understanding between Western norms and people in societies that are as different as those around the Pacific Rim. Often differences are more down to earth: legal, logistical, linguistic, even meteorological, and they can become minefields.
International experts can save you time, money and your shame
If you do or think about doing business with China, for example, consider hiring international experts who will bring with them the kinds of experiences and knowledge that will help you learn from the mistakes of others. Experienced international consultants will help you to:
look at potential disasters in time so that you take avoidance measures.
educate you and your employees in certain cultural differences and perspectives.
understand Chinese economic and marketing strategies.
identify important components of your international business plan and their impact on culturally different markets.
sort out the rules and regulations of law and government.
avoid expensive mistakes.
Building your company in the Chinese market is a long-term project, and requires huge time, money and resources. The rewards have great potential, but also the risks, so that frugality in a small part of the project can cut both ways: not only can you lose a profitable business, the whole exercise can open you at costs that you don’t dream of. from.
Measure that against the ability to have someone on your team who has spent a lot of time in this country, know people, know the law, know the market and clearly the benefits it will bring.
Auditors and business consultants with international expertise, especially in Asian countries like China, which are just emerging quickly, can make a big difference in whether your international business ventures soar or sink.
Understand the financial audit checklist in my special report, “5 Main Audit Checklist.”
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