What people are saying about China Tips for Small Businesses
” A very interesting blog..” – a company in France
Every so often I have an enlightened moment where all my thoughts on China coalesce and I can see things more clearly than I saw them before. And this happened this weekend. I was thinking about some of my own projects and also about the “China chatter” that I read on other China blogs and Linked In – much of which has to do with how difficult it is to do business in China – and I realized that doing business in China is not difficult at all as long as you practice three things.
If you can do these three things ( and 2/3 is not good enough) you can succeed in China. But what do I mean when I say patience, common sense and due diligence ? Here are some examples.
Patience: Many people try to source in China and after a couple bad experiences with vendors they met on alibaba, but never in person, they swear off on Chinese vendors and Chinese quality. This is not being patient. In fact there are a lot of bad vendors in China but also a lot of good ones. Sometimes you have to spend time, burning through a few vendors before you find one you can work with. It may take you a couple of years. But this is what I mean by being patient.
Common Sense: I have worked for companies and have had among my own clients individuals who just ignored the alarm bells and who insisted working with vendors who were not interested in working with them. Mr. F is a good example. Mr. F really liked the product of a certain vendor in Shandong Province. But the vendor did not seem to be interested in Mr F’s QTYs and felt his target costs were much too low. The vendor was simply not interested in the business Mr. F was offering them and this was quite clear in their emails. But Mr. F insisted on pursuing the vendor because he liked their unique product designs. Common sense, at least to me, says that you do not want to do business with those who do not want to do business with you. Another example of common sense is checking your order before it leaves China. But many people just don’t do this or they allow the vendor to do it. Common sense tells me that vendors are not going to QC your orders like you or an objective third party would.
Due Diligence: I can never get over how many people give orders to China vendors they have never met and know very little about. They trust the vendor because the vendor has given them a good sample and seems easy to work with. And most of all they like the cost. In short, you need to find out as much as possible about the vendors you are going to do business with even if that means paying 3K for a plane ticket and getting on a plane to China so you can meet the vendor yourself. This is an example of due diligence.