International Roger S. Cohen,
roger @ rogercohen dot com http://www.rogercohen.com (845)
Import & Export
Business Planning Services
Business Plan Outline
Business in Japan ©
By Roger S. Cohen
If you are considering developing
business with Japanese firms, you may find that some of the business
ground rules are different there. Here are a few important factors to
consider in preparing for business in Japan.
- Plan before you go.
Before you make a trip to Japan,
plan your business network. Establish your Japanese contacts in your
local market, and then in Japan. Your first call might be to the local
office of a Japanese trading house, called the sogo shosha.
- Consider a trading company.
There are nine giant trading companies, and dozens of smaller ones.
Most have representative offices in larger cities, world-wide. These
companies might serve as your source of market information, your
distributor, and your guide in Japan. Introductions they can make to
customers and potential business associates will be invaluable.
- Understand the market in
Think about how you can tailor your product to meet Japanese
requirements and specifications. Your Japanese customers will want
products that satisfy their needs, and a supplier who is interested in
their requirements. Japanese buyers want products that have a
substantial international image.
- Patience counts.
The purpose of your first meeting with your potential customer in Japan
is to obtain a second meeting. Don't expect to close a deal without
taking many steps to building a relationship. Your potential clients,
customers and business partners in Japan want to know you as a reliable
firm, and a reliable individual, before they will take the step of
giving you business.
- Persistence pays.
Japanese firms are not likely to make snap decisions on product
selection. Expect your business development to take about three times
longer than it does at home. That is why you need to focus on
relationship building, along with sales activities.
- Performance is paramount.
Products must be delivered as promised, on time, and in accordance with
specifications. Late delivery, improper packing, missed specifications
and the like will cost you your business.
If you master each one of these
steps, you'll be ahead of the game, and have a better chance to be
successful. For more information, take a look at Ten Tips for Successful Exporters.
© 1995 -
2014. Cohen International and
Roger S. Cohen. All rights reserved.