Is it Time for You to Start Selling in China?
For the past year or so, we’ve been
watching the global economic situation. Until recently, we hadn’t
noticed any real signs of the global economic meltdown in China. Of
course, it is hard to see the signs in a big city like Shanghai. I mean,
we hear rumblings about factory closures and all, and there do seem to
be a few less migrant workers around but things continue to bustle in
large part, I suppose, due to the Chinese government’s
multi-hundred-billion dollar stimulus measures. But
there are signs, not from within China but coming from outside.
Our business is helping international (mainly US) clients run their initial sales effort in China and we talk with a lot of companies. The consistent story is "sales are down at home" and often by as much as 50% comparing to two years ago! Conditions like this can only breed fear. Everyone’s scared, money is sacred, cash flow is king and risk is the devil. Dismal as it seems, maybe we should think more like Warren Buffett … when everyone runs to the sidelines, then invest; when everyone is investing, run for the sidelines. Taking from W.B., we believe now’s the time to start selling in China.
China is still filled with opportunities for companies with the right products, especially those that support the government’s “strategic needs”. And since most players are now scared, the competition is lighter than during previous “hot market” feeding frenzies. True, there are no guarantees and that “devil” – risk – is lurking, but gosh, there are opportunities to be had! As a company with lots of experience selling in China, we recommend you consider China now. You have to do it right, you do need to control your investment and effort, but do it.
We predict brave souls able to muster up the “dan zi” (see Note A below) for China now will enjoy a market foothold and major advantages over companies that choose to sideline until the fog has lifted. The Chinese appreciate early comers and value case histories, especially ones in China. In other words, you need to get in and prove your product to succeed here; it's a good time to do it. Wait until later and ten of your competitors are going to be peddling the same thing. What do you have to lose, can it get any worse? China is all about upside potential so grab what you can now.
Note A: danzi （蛋子）means “egg” or “eggs”, fairly round shaped objects sometimes referred to as “balls”.