How should businesses plan their entry into a new market?

By David Thomas, China Expert, Think Global

Entering any foreign market is difficult, particularly when there are unfamiliar language, regulatory and cross-cultural challenges to overcome.

From my experience, businesses tend to move too quickly, getting on the ground too early, chewing up money, time and resources, when they’re not fully prepared and ready. This can lead to disappointment later when high level meetings and welcoming noises end up leading to nothing.

My advice is to start slowly and prepare properly.

This requires more than just a financial investment. You need to get involved at an emotional level too and truly immerse yourself in the market you’re trying to enter. Much of this can be done locally before you ever get on a plane.

When you’ve read enough books, talked to enough people and perhaps even spent some time travelling around to soak up the local atmosphere, you’ll have a much better idea of the opportunities and challenges that await you. The more you do to prepare, the better your chance of success!

David Thomas will be providing advice about expanding into China during our Expert Clinics at the Global Expansion Summit in 2017.