Have good boots on the ground. ”Running a business in China is difficult to do from outside the country, and many of these multinationals tell us that their success is built on finding the best Chinese talent and joint venture partners” and “hiring and then training the best local talent will help” you better understand your Chinese customers.
This is so true. However, many companies think they have to open an office or a factory to have boots on the ground. This is too high a hurdle for many SME’s.
Doing Business in China: Steps to Take and Not Break the Bank
Finding a Western managed company in China that focuses on finding trustworthy and talented people is often a good first step. If you sign a Chinese distributor in China, then you are managing a Chinese person in China from a desk thousands of miles away. Also, they and their information do not belong to you. Virtual leadership cross culturally is a tall order for most and the distributor is yet harder.
In fact, many older Western investments here completely indigenized. They suddenly are managing a Chinese person from across the ocean. Results are often not good even among Fortune 500 companies I know.
It is better to cross the cultural gap with someone at the same table with you. Connecting with a Westerner in China who you do diligence on can be a good first step, but you really need Chinese boots on the ground. So that Westerner better be able to find and oversee trustworthy and understandable Chinese workers for you. You can give them work, but that Westerner can give them local oversight and give you insight into working with them.
Doing Business in China does not have to break the bank. However, you need to spend enough to get trust in China.