Even though the current political climate between the U.S. and China has fallen to one of the lowest points in decades, business opportunities remain. Your idea to build an alliance with a Chinese firm is not far-flung even in the current environment. But you want to find the right business partner.
Granted, it is not the easiest to find the ideal partner even when you are in the same country. But, consider the added challenges of finding a partner thousands of miles away in China. The geographic distance, language barriers and cultural differences surface, adding extra difficulties. However, with a great amount of relationship building, research and know-how, you and your company can do this.
Relationship building, communication
A vast cultural gap exists between the West and China, but bridges can be built. This factor provides one of the biggest challenges for U.S. companies seeking the right business partner, whether they are a business co-owner, manufacturer or distributor.
Here are some ways that can help you find the right business partners in China and get a partnership off to a solid start:
- Focus on relationship building: This likely will take some time. While you may want to dive into business negotiations immediately, the prospective Asian partner wants to get to know you and your company personally and professionally. Creating mutual trust is crucial and at the foundation of relationship building.
- Thoroughly research potential partners: You may have met them at trade shows in the U.S. or China. That is a good start. Now, it is crucial to travel to China and have in-person meetings with business associates as well as site visits to manufacturing locations. For the latter, observe plant workers in action and make sure the factory is in solid financial standing and organized.
- Overcome the communication gap: Make sure your team has staff who have their feet in both worlds of the West and China. For example, they must understand the Western business ways and the Chinese language and culture.
- Set up a satellite office in China: This will ensure that you are close to the action, while also displaying your commitment to the Chinese market and your business partners. This also helps in the building of mutual trust.
Trust, communication and commitment are at the root of finding the right business partner anywhere. However, an extra dollop of these traits may be necessary when seeking a business partner in China.