Back by popular demand: “ChinaSolved’s least wanted list.”
Earlier this month we ran a column called “10 China Management Risks You Can Eliminate by Training.” The response was enthusiastic – so we are going to revisit selected items in a bit more depth.
Management behaviors you need to eliminate # 1. Flying blind.
If you don’t have time to plan for China, you don’t have time to succeed in China. You need to figure out how to build your own independent channels of business intelligence and market data. It’s great to get expert opinion on how to plan your China business, but if you rely on others for your basic operating strategy you are starting off with a very high risk profile.
There was a time when the number one obstacle to doing business in China was a lack of good business information. Nowadays one of your biggest challenges is TOO MUCH news, information and data about the China market. True, a lot of the basic statistics the Chinese government churns out are still highly suspect, but there are mountains of advice, information and news being produced from private sources. While much of it should be approached with caution – the same could be said of any market. Your familiarity with the China market is now under your control — there are information sources to suit every need and budget. Cutting corners and failing to do adequate due diligence has proven to be very expensive for many companies.
Remedy to Flying Blind: You need to treat China business intelligence as a process — not the product of an hour or two of research. You want to have a feel for China’s big trends, and that doesn’t come quick. Like any exercise program, you are better off with a little focused effort in a regular routine than with a last-minute marathon workout.