A fair question to ask any growing company is how will you take your great new technology to market? The next great question to ask is can you execute upon it? Let's say you have figured out how to bring your technology to market in the US and succeeded at it, creating market disruption or at least made some waves along the way. What's next, a good thought should be the next largest market in the world (or the largest depending on whom you ask), China. Questions to ask yourself become:
- Can I enter the market on my own without a Joint Venture partner or does Chinese law prevent this from happening? All countries have certain sectors where foreign entities are not allowed to play, China is no different.
- What has been done in the past? If you are a software or hardware company, have people used resellers, tried to force their brand into the market (not a good approach in China), do they focus on a small sector to grow into the market or do they start by selling to their current clients that are already in China (always a great plan).
- Where is there opportunity? A good question to ask at all times. Is there more opportunity and/or less competition in smaller markets? Can our current clients become our Chinese advocates? Are there publications or conferences we should be at to build "brand recognition?"
- How am I going to do this? Am I going to hire an outside sales force? Am I going to set up operations and build out my own team on the ground? Should I hire consultants for help? What type of help do I need?
- How am I going to constantly review and improve my operations on the ground?
Now, with all of this in mind. What can you do differently you ask? Everything above gives you information, but information is only as good as what you can do with it. Add in that you may be on a limited budget as a growing company talking about a 2nd or 3rd market for you and you may not see a clear answer. My answer to you is to find a unique and creative way to work within the constraints of the market (come on, did you think I would give you the exact answer? We charge people for that). Take the knowledge of the market and use it to your advantage (legally of course). When was the last time you sat down and analyzed your market and truly built your marketing and sales plans around the market constraints, good for you if you do this already.