Thursday, May 26, 2016

Yes: Exporting to China at the Small Business Level

Of course it can be done, in fact, it is the way...
If these corporate giants can't crack China, then what chance is there for the rest of the business world? Well, somewhat unusually, the Chinese export market seems to be best suited to mid and small-sized businesses. The same Chinese middle class that is shunning Amazon and eBay is going crazy for Tyrells Crisps and Jack Wills.
Tangle Teezer, a medium-sized British company selling bespoke hairbrushes, has achieved unprecedented success, with China becoming its second most profitable market after just three years of exporting. Similarly, Suffolk-based brewer Greene King has seen demand for its beers skyrocket in China, with a 16 fold increase in orders in 2015.
What do you think I've been saying?  But it is not only China, what I teach works anywhere, anytime

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Anonymous said...

My hypothesis: Smaller markets or customer numbers for a particular product that may not sell in large numbers (or for very long) may be appealing and suitable for smaller companies, whereas bigger companies may not see the opportunity as being worthwhile for them. Example: Making $50,000, or even $5,000, on just one specific product is a big deal for a small, independent, sole-proprietorship working from his kitchen table (at least to me, but I'm just a newbie at this stuff), whereas a billion-dollar, big corporation like GE, Walmart, etc., would just not bother with it since that is peanuts to them.

John Wiley Spiers said...

I'll give you an example of exactly that... I was siting in a regional sales office of Libbey Glass working on special design glassware for a client, about a $5000 sale. It was obvious from the design who my customer was. I like to ask question to which I think I know the answer just to make sure. So I asked the sales manager how come he did not just steal my customer? He laughed "I'd get fired if I let any of my sales people spend so much time on such a small order..." (I am happy to work for $100 an hour, then need $5000 an hour.)

I was in Costco putting together a an order for Chinese baskets. I asked how come they were buying from me and not my competitor? "You're sitting here." (They did not have enough sales info yet to worry about shopping around for better prices.)

When I hear people hesitating for fear of being "ripped off" I marvel at the social conditioning the patent regime, etc, has instilled. Utterly baseless fears.