Asia is home to nearly half of the world’s entire population. In Asia, you will find all kinds of weather, all kinds of religions, cultures, income levels, tastes, preferences, and a demand for every imaginable product or service. A lot of businesses from Africa, Europe, America, and Australia have their eyes on the Asian market because they understand the potential that this region has.
No matter what you are selling, you can make an excellent business out of it if you cater to the Asian market. If you are looking to expand and want to get the most value from this effort, then Asia should be high on your priority list. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to do business in Asia.
Chances are that you are not the only one offering these products or services. Asia is home to a huge population, so you will most likely have an existing competition to face. The first thing you need is a unique selling point for your offerings. There needs to be something that makes you stand out from the crowd and becomes the reason for a buyer to choose you over the competition.
In most cases, this is going to either be because your price is better or because your product has some kind of value that others don’t. If you can create a great product at an exceptional price, that is even better. To understand how you can improve your product or your price, you need to look at what others are doing and where you can find some space for improvement.
Without good marketing, survival in any market is tough, and Asia is no different. However, since the area is so densely populated, you can benefit tremendously from physical marketing. Every billboard you rent and every physical marketing exercise you initiate will reach a lot of people. Especially if you are focusing on the urban areas in Asia, you will get a lot of viewership. However, digital marketing also has its own importance as Asia is home to billions of internet users as well.
To make the most of your marketing dollars, you need to understand the local culture and market. The different countries have extremely different cultures and populations, so a single marketing campaign will not work for the entire region. You need to focus on the most profitable areas and customize your marketing campaign to get the most out of those areas.
In Asia, you can register for many different kinds of business structures. In fact, you can even keep your business registered in your home country and simply open up a branch to cater to the Asian market. You will still need to register a limited company or a sole proprietorship, but it won’t be as long as starting a new company from the ground up. Also, make sure you look into rules and regulations.
You might need certain licenses or certain permits to operate your business in this region. Make sure you have all your paperwork cleared for every area in Asia where you want to do business. Unlike the EU, no central registration will let you operate in the entire region. In most cases, registration does not take too long, nor is it very pricey. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can get a local expert to handle this process for you.
Whenever you start a business in a new region, you need to do extensive research. This involves researching every aspect of the business. It will be beneficial to have more miniature ecosystems throughout the continent.
You can find plenty of information online, but if you want more in-depth information, you should consult a local expert. This way, you can more efficiently uncover what businesses are currently doing and how you can get your foot in the door and adopt some of the same processes.
Business expansion requires human capital. If you want to work in Asia, it would be beneficial to hire locally rather than have international staff join you in Asia. It will be cheaper, and you will get a workforce that is just as competent if not more and it will be much easier to manage.
More importantly, you will get access to the local business environment. However, you need to make sure you invest in training your team properly so they can deliver the right kind of quality. There are lots of people who can work and want to work, but they need to be trained. Ideally, you should have specialized staff for all kinds of different processes. This can be hard to do in the early days, but as your business grows, investing in human capital will be worth it.
Sourcing products from outside Asia will be quite expensive. It is a big area, so shipping and freight can cost quite a bit. A smarter solution will be to source locally. The local business environment is extremely diverse, and you will easily find whatever you need. Asia supplies materials to the entire world so you will get great products at excellent prices. Local sources of raw material will also be more reliable and more efficient to work with rather than shipping materials over long distances.
Before you start a business, finalize a location or a few locations that you want to work in. Each market in Asia has its own pros and cons. Depending on your product/service and your overall business objectives, you could be based close to the Middle East or closer to China and Japan. There are dozens of countries in between, and they are all excellent places to do business, given that you know how to. Spend some time to understand the unique features of each location and see what will work best for you. Doing your research first will save you a lot of time, money, and stress in the future. Ideally, you want a place with great demand, growth potential, and low competition. Once you develop a good base, you can branch out into other more challenging areas.